New Delhi, July 1: Wisden named Ravindra Jadeja as India's 'Most Valuable Player' of the 21st century. The reputed cricket establishment said Jadeja has contributed immensely to India's success over the last two years in all departments of the game.
In 2019, Jadeja became the second fastest Indian to bag 200 wickets -- in 44 Tests -- behind R Ashwin, who grabbed 200 wickets in 37 Test matches. Wisden analysed Jadeja's performance via analytical tool CricViz.
Jadeja was in fact the second most valuable player after Sri Lankan off-spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan. Jadeja has now also made a comeback to the limited-over set-up and has contributed with bat, ball and on the field through some spectacular saves and catches.
"It might come as a surprise to see Ravindra Jadeja, India's spin-bowling all-rounder, feature as India's number one. After all, he's not even always an automatic pick in their Test team. However, when he does play he is picked as a frontline bowler and has batted as high as No.6 - contributing to a very high match involvement," Cricviz's Freddie Wilde told Wisden.
"The 31-year-old's bowling average of 24.62 is better than Shane Warne's and his batting average of 35.26 is better than Shane Watson's. His batting and bowling average differential of 10.62 runs is the second-best of any player this century to have scored more than 1,000 runs and taken 150 wickets. He is an all-rounder of the very highest quality," he added.
From 49 Test matches, Jadeja has scored 1869 runs including a hundred and 14 half-centuries. He scored that ton against the West Indies in 2018, at Rajkot, his home ground. From 49 Test matches, Jadeja has bagged 213 wickets and has nine five wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul. He has often assisted Ashwin in India's spin-friendly tracks and has now emerged as the first-choice spinner ahead of his senior mate in away Tests because of his better all-round utility.