The series decider between India and West Indies looked to be slipping away from the hands of the Indian team as Virat Kohli directed Keemo Paul’s delivery onto his stumps on the first ball of the 47th over of the third ODI against West Indies.
With only the tail-enders left to play, Kohli looked back in nervousness as he headed to the pavilion while Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja plotted a fantastic chase in such a crucial game. Jadeja, speaking at the press conference after the match in Cuttack, spilt the beans on what he told Shardul as the duo pulled off a heroic chase to win the game and clinch the series for India.
Jaddu and Shardul, both CSK team-mates stood tall against Windies’ pace attack, with the latter scoring a four and a six early in his innings to bring the required run-rate under 6. From there on, the two played every delivery with caution and kept rotating the strike to wrap-up the chase with 8 balls to spare. It was a rather meticulous and well-planned partnership in which both batsmen looked at ease despite the pressure of the match situation.
“I told myself that I need to play till the last ball,” Jadeja said during the presser on Sunday. “Yes, my innings was crucial because it was the decider. When I went in, my aim was to just stay with Virat and rotate the strike.”
Ravindra Jadeja seems to have re-established himself in the plans of the Indian team
Kohli’s dismissal had many biting their nails as India looked on the cusp of losing the series but Shardul and Jadeja impressed everyone with their maturity in the tense chase. India is used to the likes of Virat Kohli or earlier MS Dhoni finishing off games. It’s not too often that Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli were not at the crease in such an important juncture of the game.
Jadeja, speaking to journalists, revealed that he told Shardul how good the wicket was and India was ensured of a win if the two played till the last ball. “When Shardul (Thakur) came in, I told him the wicket was good, the ball was coming on nicely so we were thinking like Virat and I were. And that was, if we play till the last ball and treat every ball on its merit, we will win,” said Jadeja post the match.
Jadeja seems to have re-established himself in the plans of the Indian team as far as ODI cricket is concerned. While the left-hander hasn’t been in the best of form in the recent matches, he asserted that he needs to prove his worth as a batsman in order to consistently make it to the playing XI for India after Hardik Pandya returns to the side.
With Kedhar Jadhav being rather unimpressive with the bat and with his slingy off-spinners in recent times, Ravindra “Jaddu” Jadeja can very well make it to the team in LOIs both at home and overseas based on the overall package he brings to the table. He, after all, is India and probably among the best fielders in the world now.
It certainly won’t be surprising after yesterday’s clinical display with the bat, if Jadeja makes it to the World T20 squad and plays all matches in Australian conditions.
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