He may have three triple centuries at the domestic level, which forced the selectors to draft Ravindra Jadeja into the Test squad against England at home in late 2012. However, a year and half into his Test career, and his progress seems to be going in the wrong direction. The ongoing Test is Jadeja’s 12, and his duck, a dismissal against nemesis James Anderson, is the latest in his growing list of failures. Apart from a couple of efforts with the bat and ball, he has just not looked convincing enough as a Test player. His poor catching in the slips has only made matters worse.
Jadeja’s mediocre record, with the bat in particular, says it all. In his 12th Test now, he has only managed 360 runs at an extremely poor average of 22.5. He only has one half-century to his name till date, that was the chancy 68 at Lord’s, which played a major role in India’s surprise victory. But, take that out and he has done precious little. Disappointingly, he has got starts on a number of occasions, but has failed to capitalise on the same. Jadeja should have done much better.
A look at some of his scores tell the complete picture – 43 vs Australia at Delhi (March 2013), 30 not out and 26 vs New Zealand at Auckland (February 2014), 26 vs New Zealand at Wellington (February 2014) and 25 and 31 vs England at Nottingham (July 2014), and 31 vs England at Southampton (July 2014). For a man who is known for his massive scores at the domestic level, it is surprising that he hasn’t transformed his form at the international stage. He went eight Tests without a half-century, and that is not a great record to start with.
Jadeja’s record is slightly better with the ball. He has so far claimed 44 wickets at an average of 30.2 with two five-wicket hauls. He claimed three wickets for 117 runs in his debut Test. This was followed by 5 for 143 against Australia at Chennai. His best match haul came against Australia in the next Test at Hyderabad when he finished with 6 wickets for 66 runs. He continued his good form in the next two Tests against the same opponent, picking up six and seven wickets respectively.
Even in his first Test abroad, against South Africa at Durban, Jadeja claimed six wickets while giving away 154 runs. However, since that Test, Jadeja has struggled with the ball as well. His figures at Auckland were 2 for 130 and those at Wellington were 1 for 127. Jadeja went wicketless at Nottingham, picked up 3 for 99 at Lord’s and 5 for 205 at Southampton. Putting all these figures together one can easily conclude that Jadeja has been a big flop.
--By A Cricket Analyst