Birmingham, July 2: Ravindra Jadeja cracked his 3rd Test hundred during the second day of the fifth Test against England at Edgbaston here on Saturday (July 2).
Jadeja’s hundred was much slower in comparison to Rishabh Pant’s breathtaking assault of 146 off 111 balls but no less in value as it helped India go past 400 in the first innings.
Jadeja and Pant had milked 222 runs off just 239 balls on Friday (July 1) that rescued India from a precarious 98 for 5.
This was Jadeja’s second hundred in the year and also helped him go past 2500 runs in Test cricket. Jadeja now has 242 Test wickets and needs 8 more wickets to achieve the rare double of 2500 runs and 250 wickets in the longest format of the game.
But Jadeja’s innings had an underlying significance than those numbers. It might have answered in emphatic terms as who is India’s No 1 Test all-rounder and which cricketer would get picked up in a one spinner scenario.
There was a lot of talks about whether India should have picked R Ashwin ahead of Jadeja or at least should have drafted in both in the playing 11. The talk had reached a crescendo last year when Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri preferred Jadeja over Ashwin for the Tests against England.
Both Kohli and Jadeja were badgered for the decision and the omission was even attributed to Kohli’s secret ego issue with Ashwin. Now, a year later the new management under Rahul Dravid too followed a similar route in England but with less hullaballoo surrounding the call.
Former coach Shastri hinted as much while doing commentary in Sony, the official broadcaster. “We always had thought about Jadeja’s improved batting in the last 2 or 3 years. Jadeja brings in a lot of stability and control down the order.
“Imagine here (Edgbaston itself), India were 98 for 5 and another wicket at this juncture would have seen India getting all out for 160 or so. Jadeja and Pant played the situation quite beautifully,” said Shastri.
1. Since 2019, Jadeja has scored 1075 runs in Test cricket from 29 innings at 48.86 with 10 scores above 50.
2. Jadeja completed 2500 runs in Test cricket.
3. Jadeja averages 35.76 with the bat and 24.44 with the ball in Test cricket from 61 Tests. The difference between averages is 12.56 and that put him 5th on the list behind Gary Sobers (23.75), Jacques Kallis (22.72), Imran Khan (14.88) and Keith Miller (14).
4. Jadeja is the only cricketer in the world to score 2500 runs in Test cricket at more than 35 average and take more than 200 Test wickets at an average less than 25.