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The day this Jadeja will be called Jaddu.

by Gaurav Sethi

Shukla, my big, fat sabzi wallah was a diehard Ajay Jadeja fanatic. He was also big on Azhar but Jaddu always came first. He often quizzed me when Jaddu would return? “Jaddu khelega na?” I never gave him false hope, but he never gave up. And when he didn’t quiz me about Jaddu, he asked after Azhar.

Obviously Shukla doesn’t watch NDTV, otherwise I would’ve had a thing or two coming on Jaddu the cricket expert. But I’m curious what he thinks of Ravindra Jadeja – I have a feeling he likes all things Jadeja.

Must confess, I like Ravindra Jadeja. Not from today, but from IPL1. He seems so damn young, energised, earnest, you gotta have him out in the middle.

Today, he was in the middle, good they didn’t drop him after the first game no-show with the bat. Anyway, with the ball, he was way better than Bhajji.

So too in the second game today. And even though Jadeja came into bowl in the 30th, he had Hussey by the third ball. Hussey had Bhajji for three fours. That was obviously one of the two bad overs Bhajji had according to MSD.

Such is the protective shield around Bhajji that no matter what I or you say or think, he will play all seven games. And when his bowling numbers come off, they will fly a plane, and we will read his figures in that great big gig in the sky.

So forget about Bhajji and Mishra for once. Let’s stay with Jadeja, the sharp lines, the canny lengths, the bounce about him. Let us for once not say he had 354 runs behind him, Bhajji had them too, what came of it. Honestly, I find it punishing beyond words to watch Bhajji bowl. Short, wide, short, wide. There’s just so much a man can take. And that too from another man. I don’t have to, you don’t have to either.

Let’s hop on to Jadeja vs Yusuf Pathan. I have an inventory here of Yusuf’s miraculous ducks, no scores, zeroes, (lotta first, second ball ones too). Don’t duck, have a look here.

He played 30 odd ODIs, got a lotta chances, lotta overs, contrary to what some people will want us to believe.

Let’s give Jadeja half those chances, half that backing, half that belief. I’ll be damn surprised, if by then you don’t start calling him Jaddu.

As for you Shukla, we'll talk about this Jadeja tomorrow. It's time to live in the now.


Anonymous said...

Finally it will be Jadeja's batting that will determine how far he goes. If they send Bhajji and Praveen Kumar before him, what does that say for the confidence in Jadeja the batsman?

Som said...

Tera Jaddu chal gaya!

Mahek said...

The problem for Jadeja is thanks to Warne, most people think he's a batsman who can bowl. The truth is just the opposite. He was the joint leading wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy last year while he was sixth in the list of top runscorers.

With Harbhajan set for the allrounder's role I think it will be hard for Mishra, Ojha or Pathan to get in. It's a different matter that two of them bowl better than him and one of them is better with the bat.

Homer said...

Well written Sir!

pRAFs said...

if its a spin bowling all rounder, India is looking for,
Jadeja has to come before yusuf.heck, mishra should fit somewhere in between.
If its a spinner they want, someone call Pragyan Ojha.

Mahek said...

Jadeja performed better than Ojha with the ball in last season's Ranji trophy. Of course that goes unnoticed since most people don't care about it anymore and judge players by what they see from them in the IPL. That said, they're both better than Harbhajan when it comes to bowling at the moment.

straight point said...

if only the powers have the sense of a talent... cracker of a post NC!

som... one world... brilliant!!

harry said...

Great analysis,NC. You ought to be paid for this stuff!! Start writing for some mag/ passes/daaru/and they treat you like son in laws. Now that the praise is out of the way ....hehehe....perhaps a bit too harsh on Bhajji,(remember he is the same guy who stopped Aussies at the final frontier,past laurels but he aint a spent force) this 50 over game is cruel for the spinners (20 Twenty aint cricket), it will kill the art of spin, and it wasnt Bhaj's day.As for Jaddu, it was a beauty of ball to get rid of Hussey, and i am keepin my fingers crossed lest BCCI in all their wisdom drop him after 2 games.
And dear Mahek,we are a nation who love Indian cricket/cricketers and not "cricket".Who watches Ranji Trophy??!! I was in Hyd last year and went to watch a Ranji game..... Sachin batting and there were 50 odd spectators. Explain that!!!

Megha said...

Mahek..didn't realise that Jadeja was basically a bowler who can bat. Now it will be easier for me to forgive him for the T20 fiasco :)

Good one NC..I suspect I can like all things Jadeja too...if only he is given a chance!

Mahek said...

I don't see how anyone can be hard on Harbhajan when his spin bowling partner performs better than him game after game. He comes up with the odd good performance and shouts and beats his chest like he's the best thing to happen since sliced bread. There are a number of bowlers who haven't lost their art of spin bowling in ODIs. Brad Hogg, Daniel Vettori, Muttiah Muralitharan, Saeed Ajmal to name a few. Hell even Nathan Hauritz isn't afraid to toss the ball up, even in Twenty20.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Anon, being brought on to bowl in the 30th undermines him far more then sending Bhajji and PK before him in the last over before him.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Bahut khub Som

Mahek, Jadeja is Yusuf Pathan's replacement, popular perception will stick to batsman who can bowl.

Thanks Homer.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Prafs, from now on the balance will be skewed in favour of spinners who have a reputation with the bat, never mind what they do with the ball.

Both yusuf and bhajji have this reputation, the others do not.

Thanks SP

Gaurav Sethi said...

Harry, when was the last time you looked forward to watch Bhajji bowl? I can't remember. Thanks man.

Thanks Megha. One bad game and he'll be on notice, two and he'll take Mishra's place on the bench.

Mahek said...

How long will it take for Harbhajan to take Mishra's place?

PS: It's a trick question.

Rohit said...

I think your analysis is a little flawed. I agree Jadeja is a better bowler than batsmen(though he was the highest wicket taker partly because saurashtra played more games as they made it to the latter stages of the Ranji) but I fear you are being highly unfair to bhajji by saying he's not the best spinner in India. I agree he has looked feckless for the most and has bowled defensive trajectories but he remains India's premier spin bowler, in my opinion. We have to be careful while analyzing the likes of mishra, ojha, jadeja who have yet to complete their 'gestation period' in international cricket. They have not been found out yet and we must see how they play when this does happen. That being said, I do think jadeja and chawla are very promising spinners. The best young spinner, in my opinion however, is the unheralded 18 year old Mohnish Parmar, who turns the ball square, literally! His figures were superior to jadeja's last season for the same number of matches. But then again, nobody watches ranji cricket!

Mahek said...

Harbhajan has experience on his side but what good is it if he can't fox batsmen into giving away their wicket? I agree the others aren't nearly experienced enough, but how are they supposed to gain that experience when they're being kept out by an underperforming spinner? India won't play two spinners unless it's a home test and you can forget about that happening in LOIs. Jadeja has only got a chance because he can bat. About his Ranji performance last season, he averaged less than 20 per wicket so it's not like he got all those wickets just because he bowled a lot more than others.

Monish Parmar has been terrific. Only problem is his action is suspect. He's been sent back to get it corrected. Hopefully he'll come back with a cleaner action without losing much venom.