In social media circles, he is addressed as ‘Sir’. He sends shivers down the spine of world-class batsmen with the likes of Michael Clarke through his exploits with the ball. And, he has a unique style of celebrating his fifty by flashing his bat like a sword. That’s Ravindra Jadeja for you.
Critics have often questioned his place in the team. Social media mocks him for missing a triple hundred in Test cricket every time he gets out cheaply. Yes, FYI this Saurashtra all-rounder has three triple hundreds in first-class cricket. With this feat, he joins the likes of stalwarts like Don Bradman, WG Grace and Brian Lara. But, the 28-year-old all-rounder’s journey to stardom has not been a bed of roses.
Born on December 6, 1988 in Navagam-Khed in Saurashtra region of Gujarat, Ravindra Jadeja was brought up in a middle-class family. His father was employed as a watchman for a private security agency. Having lost his mother in a road accident while he was still 17, he was shattered and had made up his mind to quit cricket. If it had not been his elder sister Naina by his side, India would have not seen an all-rounder, who would give the team regular breakthroughs.
Having made his ODI debut in 2009, Jadeja had an average start to his international career. He did make his presence felt with good performances at regular intervals, but was not consistent enough. A member of the IPL-winning Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings squad, he was considered worthy only for the shortest format.
But Jadeja did not give up easily. If he failed with the bat, he made it up with his performance with the ball. If he tormented Aussie batting star Michael Clarke with his turns in the home series of 2013, he steered India to victory in the ICC Champions Trophy few months later that year with crucial breakthroughs.
Since then, Jadeja has been a regular member of the Indian squad in all the three formats of the game. Last year, during the Freedom Trophy series against South Africa, he was at his best. With an impressive wicket tally of 23 at an average of 10.82, Jadeja emerged as the second highest wicket-taker. A significant moment from the match was his dismissal of Proteas skipper Hashim Amla in the opening Test at Mohali.
So when odds are against you, defy stereotypes like our very own ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja. And the salutation is out of respect. In case you are still confused, see this: