When league leaders Royal Challengers Bangalore met the side placed second Chennai Super Kings, the latter emerged as the victors with Ravindra Jadeja lending the three-time IPL champions a major hand.
Jadeja was absolutely sublime with his cricketing prowess, with both the bat as well as the ball. However, it was with the willow in his hand, that he caused some unreal carnage.
His significant batting improvement has impressed captain MS Dhoni who is more than willing to let Jadeja face ‘extra few deliveries’ that can often prove to be crucial in the game. Jadeja was also in fine form with the bat against Australia towards the end of last year.
“Jaddu is somebody who can change the game on his own. In the last few years, we’ve seen significant change in batting and it’s worth it to give him that extra bit of time, extra deliveries,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation when asked about Jadeja being sent in at No. 5.
The other factor which influenced Dhoni’s decision is the fact that left-handers often find it easier to carry on with the momentum once they get going. This was especially evident in the case of Jadeja today who, despite getting off to a slow start in the game, smashed 37 runs off Harshal Patel’s final over.
He brought up his half-century in just 25 deliveries and finished on 62 not out off 28 deliveries.
“The bowlers have found it difficult to contain left-handers, and that helps as well,” Dhoni said.
A candid Jaddu revealed that this was his best day on a cricket field. He added that the job of an all-rounder is tough and to pull it off with such effect is very satisfying.
“Don’t think so (if he had a better day). I’ve been working hard on my fitness, skill, everything. Luckily it paid off. It’s been a tough job being all-rounder, you have to do all departments,” Jadeja said.
Asked how he works on his routine, Jadeja said: “During training, I don’t work on all three, I do skill work one day, training one day, fitness one day.”
On being asked whether he had any help from MS Dhoni on how to deal with Harshal Patel’s final over, Jadeja revealed, “I was just looking to hit it hard. Mahi bhai told me he would bowl somewhere outside off and luckily I connected.”