How important is Ravindra Jadeja to CSK and Dhoni?

Image Courtesy: TOI
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For a long time, the all-rounder spot had been a bit of an enigma for a majority of the Indian cricket community. Yet, since Kapil Dev-there have been many who have donned the role subtly. The Likes of Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya recently have excelled in the role, but with his acrobatic fielding, effective bowling and swashbuckling batting-Ravindra Jadeja has well and truly made his mark as an all-rounder.

One cannot imagine the current Indian side in any format without Ravindra Jadeja taking the all-rounders slot. No matter what conditions India is playing in, his presence is of paramount importance for the Indian side and time and again, he lived up to his reputation and enhanced it. The man from Jamnagar-is far more important to Chennai Super Kings and in specific, MS Dhoni.

For the Thala, Jadeja is happy to be a foot soldier. A rock star happy to be an opening act. Jadeja is exactly what Dhoni always wanted: a selfless cricketer who would do as he was told. Jadeja is still a fielder first, bowler next and batsman last. If Dhoni asks Jadeja to bowl over the wicket, Jadeja would. If Dhoni says Jadeja will bat at No 3 and excel at it too.

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Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni (right).

Ravindra Jadeja is key

On turning slow wickets in the UAE, Ravindra Jadeja will be one of CSK’s most important bowlers. Harbhajan Singh’s absence makes him even more crucial. Jadeja has to follow the double act of filling in for Suresh Raina too, who conspicuously has withdrawn from the IPL citing personal reasons. In his absence, Jadeja might even be promoted up the order to negate spinners in the middle-order.

Nevertheless, the number three position is considered quite crucial and in Raina’s absence, Jadeja could be a viable option.

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Apart from his batting and bowling prowess, Jadeja is MS Dhoni’s go-to man when the situation seems tense. In every sense, Jadeja is a major asset to the team. Be it scoring enormous boundaries, sending the opponent team’s players walking back with his direct hits or witty tweakers.

Jadeja is a livewire in the field as well, and in an ageing CSK squad, he will be found in all the important positions in the circle and on the boundary. The all-rounder is all but guaranteed to start all the matches for the Yellow Brigade and is a vital cog in their team dynamics.

Over the past five years, Ravindra Jadeja has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings.
Talking purely on a statistical basis, he has taken 108 wickets at an average of 29.18 and an economy rate of 7.57. He had three four-wicket hauls and one five-wicket haul.

Jadeja faces the music

Interestingly, during last year’s Cricket World Cup in England, commentator Sanjay Manjrekar was trying to make a point about Ravindra Jadeja.

That the Saurashtra all-rounder is neither capable of producing the assurance or flourish with the bat that a Hardik Pandya can nor the cutting-edge with the ball that a Kuldeep or a Chahal can.

But one thing he brings to the table is steadfastness and for team building, that at times can be priceless than just raw talent.

The Twnety20 format is TaylorMade for someone like a Jadeja, who is considered as a multi-faceted player. The IPL is his platform to shine, to show the world of glimpses of his brilliance.

Putting a player on a pedestal can be dangerous, but hailing them for something they’re not and judging them based on their reputation can be unjust to their ability.

Whilst the Super Kings have a platoon of players on one side, a beneficiary who is sitting comfortably on the other side of the spectrum is a certain Ravindra Jadeja. He’s there because time and again he has proven his utility to the side, in addition to being one of Dhoni’s trusted lieutenants.

There’s a swagger about everything that Ravindra Jadeja does.
It is hence little surprise that the legendary spinner Shane Warne gave him the nickname ‘Rockstar’ for his flamboyance. But for Dhoni and CSK, he’s always been a more sedate person, doing anything that the team asks him to do.

In the process though, Jadeja continued to shock and awe spectators with his performances.

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