Ravindra Jayanti

It takes a special kind of talent to single-handedly lose one World Cup. It takes talent of a different kind of God-ness to lose two World Cups (India still has a mathematical chance of making it to the semis but let us agree they do not deserve to) through one’s  individual brilliance. Ravindra Jadeja is one such legend. If he decimated India’s chances in England with his Mohammed Kaifian batting, this time in West Indies he did it with his bowling and fielding. To be fair, he was not allowed to display his batting prowess, having been sent in at the fag end, even after Harbhajan Singh, else I am sure he would not have left any stone unturned even there.

It was KKR that first introduced us to the concept of the “all-round failure” with Rohan Gavaskar,   who did not bowl and batted after the bowlers. It would perhaps have been better for Team India if Jadeja had been like Rohan Gavaskar in that he was never given the ball. But he was and he gave away 3 sixes and 1 four in two overs against West Indies and 6 sixes in two overs against Australia. And unlike Gavaskar, he could not even produce misti doi on demand.

Of course its easy to get carried away and blame Ravindra Jadeja for everything. The person more culpable for India’s miserable performance is the dude who kept Jadeja in the team after the match against Australia, in the process benching a genuine bowler. Hell they could just played ten men and that would have been better.

Well at least now people cannot blame simple IPL fatigue for Indian’s shameful performance—Jadeja was not allowed to play a single match in the IPL (BCCI for once getting something right, albeit unintentionally) and so he should have been as fresh as Arun Lal in spring. Debunking the fatigue myth are the examples of so many in the Australian team (Warner, Watson, Hussey etc) who were in the IPL and performers like Jayawardene, Gayle and many others, who have been able to maintain their standards from IPL and even raise their games when playing for their countries.

Fundamental things need to be looked at and understood, not the least of which is why Sehwag develops an “injury” right after IPL and right before the World Cup. Even more importantly, fans and selectors need to understand that IPL and T20 internationals are entirely different games, none of which incidentally are cricket. IPL ,by virtue of it being played in India and with the restriction of four foreign players which makes most teams shore up their batting with foreign talent leaving their bowling to domestic players, makes certain types of technically inept batsman appear far better than they actually are.

Case in point being Yusuf Pathan who is always one short ball away from getting dismissed against international opposition. He is and will remain an exceptional IPL player, given its restrictions. But he is definitely not international class. Like Jadeja. Yet every year we make the same mistake in our T20 World Cup selection——-filling up the squad with the best players from IPL, under the assumption that excellence in IPL implies great form in international T20s.

Another thing we need to look at is the problem with short-pitched bowling.” Remember last time in England, we discovered this fatal weakness as if “all of a sudden”, brought Dravid into the team as a reaction and then quietly discarded him when Youngistan started playing well in One Days. The message went out from the powers that be — “See we  Youngistanis dont have any problem. If we did, we would be exposed in One Days. But we arent !”

Problem solved. We select an identical side to last time and go to West Indies and find the exact same problem ! And we are all totally confused as to what is going on.

Now here is a hypothesis. In a twenty overs game, the ball is fairly new throughout (since 20 overs is the oldest it can get) and the fast bowlers knowing they have only four overs to bowl (often in 1 over spells) can consistently bowl short balls (a good short ball is always an effort ball, taking quite a bit of stamina to get right). In a fifty over game with a longer time horizon and where spells are longer, it is impossible to keep up that consistent intensity.

The problem with Indian batsmen is that they cannot score big against good short pitched bowling (they can survive short pitched bowling however), because as Dhoni mentioned, most of them cannot pull well. In a T20 game, with the pressure to score two boundaries an over there from the very onset (thanks to gems like Jadeja, three boundaries an over actually), Indian batsmen are forced to attack short-pitched bowling from the get-go and this almost always leads to their undoing.

In an ODI, they can wait a bit till the bowler’s intensity drops and the ball gets older, at which point of time getting the ball near the batsman’s chin consistently becomes difficult (the odd ball can always be let go in an ODI). Even when the ball is replaced in the thirty-sixth over, the main bowlers are then usually coming back for their second/third spells and do not have the same stamina they had in say the eleventh over. Also with a score like 210/3 at the end of forty overs, the pressure to hit the odd-short ball is not as much as it is when at 21/1 in the 5th over chasing 180 and where every other ball is coming chest high.

This basic technical problem, of not being able to hit fours on short balls, is what I believe is the principal reason why India is not a very good T20 international side in venues that have bounce and carry and our debacles in two successive World Cup, under identical circumstances, should make that clear.

Ah well.

60 thoughts on “Ravindra Jayanti

  1. damnnnn!!!!!!!

  2. They could just played ten men and that would have been better……. AGREEE

  3. Not to forget the Hyderabad match where Sachin made 175.Victory was in sight after Sachin’s epic knock,and Jadeja ran himself out.

    I just dont understand his role in the Indian team.He can’t bat ,bowls total crap and he is considered to be a very talented youngster.

    Bits and pieces players like Pathan and Jadeja have seriously dented India’s chances.Time to reconsider these selections.

    Also,the Indian bowling in this tournament apart from Harbhajan has been ineffective.Feels like they are there only to make the numbers.

  4. I have a sneaky suspicion that FIP wrote this article…

  5. And add to this a captain who can’t differentiate between “red light” & “red signal”. This Youngistan team SUCKS..

  6. India was the most disbalanced side . going only with 3 frontline bowlers. (I dont count ravindra jadeja as a bowler). Jadeja is not among the top 5 spinners ..or even among top 20 batsmen in india. Why was he selected ! Given bhajji’s unorthodox but consistent contributions in the recent past, we should get rid of jadeja.
    Yusuf pathan is another misfit in the india side, as rightly said by greatbong…rahul dravid should have been selected. he is an outstanding catcher…and a run-a-ball batsmen in 20-20. he can be used as kallis has been used.

  7. Bring back Sachin!!!

  8. Savita Bhabhi May 10, 2010 — 3:14 am

    Even dada could have done better…bring back dada

  9. Last para summed it up pretty well. Sad day! Dhoni should be answerable. As should be the father of Anirudh S.

  10. I feel very happy whenever BCCI’s team loses. This is one organizaton which is corrupt to the core, a few people eat up all the wealth, and never invest anything at the gross root level to improve the game. I pray that this losing streak continues and we return to that time when other teams used to send second string teams to tour India.

  11. some more food for thought about this line in your post – “…not the least of which is why Sehwag develops an “injury” right after IPL and right before the World Cup”
    Is it just coincidence or something else to find that this is also the time when Sehwag had his second child. Not to take anything away from the fact that he actually might have been injured, but at least he/the Board could have been honest…on second thoughts, had they said that, he would be labeled a ‘deshdrohi’, since we are like that only. oh well…

  12. I think contrary to all the rule changes that ICC has brought in to curb short bowling in T20 , these rules encourage short bowling instead. Like, say I am Nannes, bowling against India. I would not be bothered of 1 bouncer rule to bowl short coz if it really flies over the head then I am going to be penalised a single run. But if I bowl full, afraid of 1 bouncer rule, then I might go for a boundary or a six as Indian players are good against full bowling. So I will rather bowl short as it gives me a better chance to bowl a dot bowl if I get it right in the rib cage and if the batsman is Pathan or Jadeja, I might get them out.
    And if say , I am Pathan then if the bowler has utilised his one bouncer in an over, then I might be rather confident that the next bowl is going to be full waiting for it on the front foot. And if it is short in the rib cage , I have a greater chance to get out. So, all in all, it makes better sense to consistently bowl short to Indian batsmen giving not even a damn to the 1 bouncer rule.

    And it is nice that finally a cricket captain has admitted that we are not good at short bowling as we do not play pull shot well. May be that is the first step to try for some improvement.
    BTW the title was hilarious. 😀

  13. Ah Kishor…..welcome back!!:P

  14. Blessed was the IPL team team that did not pick (or omitted) Jadeja from its squad..

    But had it not Jadeja, then it would have been some lame bowler who would have given in, thats the tragedy of Indian team – someone always fills in for the non performers.

  15. Some Nostalgic Moments May 10, 2010 — 5:14 am

    yah Ravindra Jadeja another Agarkar in making….may be even more classier…..Hey Mr.Jadeja take some rest ,go for some Caribbean holiday,party with babes all night…..u deserve it man…u deserve it…..we the fans of RTDM will finance ur debauchery…..enjoy the pleasure u give us…Patriotism at its best…..

  16. A strong building can’t be built without solid foundation. Likewise winning big torunaments like WC, can’t happen without solid team which ultimately mean team selection. We can’t expect to win the battles when we have unbrave-hearted soldiers.

    Imagine what would have happned if Robin Uthappa would have been in the team instead of jadeja (who’s the major culprit in our consecutive world-cup debacles.) Or replace Yusuf pathan with Manish Pande.

    I always feel that with Yusuf Pathan there’s always a luck factor involved. If he clicks, then its our day (which happenes rarely BTW) and if he doesn’t, it costs us a match (as he comes in a situation whereafter there are no specialists batsmen down the lane.)

    It’s high time to revamp the selection process, increase accountability, define everyone’s role in the scheme of things. I reckon all this was done excellently..alas on the paper and in the theory only. We missed the practical….BIG TIME!!!!!!


  17. The point is India won the inaugural T20 WC by fluke. And at that time all the veteran Team India players were (I guess they were asked politely not to participate) not there. So, that gave the so called selecter an edge. And that’s the reason why Sachin didn’t agree to play this T20 WC despite bhajii tried a lot to convince him.
    In this years IPL, highest run getters are veterans, which implicitly says that experience does matter.

  18. I think we are being harsh on Jadeja. Any bowler can have bad days and poor Jadeja is not even a full time bowler. Dinesh kartik plays as an opener, sometimes as batsmen (he fields better than Dhoni), sometimes wicket keeper (for the Zimbabwe tour next month) and sometimes he doesnt belong in the team (as Dhoni is well rested). Murli Vijay was roped in the team as a test opener, 1 IPL century and he is opening in T20 world cup. Vinay Kumar (the discovery of IPL3) hasnt played a single game but has been picked for the zimbabwe series. The Indian team/selector/bcci is a bunch of confused people who dont know what their role is. Atleast Modi was smarter, he manufactured his own role in IPL and showed how incompetent BCCI is by allegedly doing wrong things right under their nose.

  19. Well Sri Lanka too came a cropper against the Aussie attack. So maybe it’s more of a subcontinent problem? Though I don’t disagree about Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan.

  20. RJ rocks!! no 2 ways about it! And Dinda should have been there in the squad…in my opinion he’s the only genuine fast bowler we have right now, given that Zaheer’s lost a lot of pace. Remember that spell to Warner, anyone?

  21. I always believed that Robin Uthappa was a better choice than Jadeja and Vijay….

  22. I don’t understand how picking Robin Uthappa or any other batsman would have helped. Fundamentally, India’s been playing the same team for T20 matches for over a year now. This is the exact same team, rather the batting line up that got their ass handed to them. The domestic tournaments don’t provide adequate practice for India’s batsman to practice the short ball, then again, neither do they show the nous or patience to even practice on their own. Picking Uthappa, who’s himself is a terrible player of short ball serves no purpose.

    Jadeja is a good player, had a bad day against Australia. Happens to everyone, can’t perform everyday. However, he shouldn’t even have been in the team to begin with. This dumbass, inflexible policy of not choosing players according to match situation is going to cost India in the long term. Why are we playing 3 spinners on a wicket with bounce and pace. More importantly, why take a 4th seamer if you wouldn’t play him in this exact circumstance? Ofcouse, all will be forgotten by next ODI WC, with it being held in India.

  23. Bring back Arun Lala as opener, with Chiddu, they will score 100 in first 6! Aotul Basson will open the bowling, bowling at 100 m.p.h.! India will win WC!

  24. Rootofall3vil May 10, 2010 — 7:58 am

    While I agree that Jadeja should not be in the playing XI based on his past outing vs. Aussies, writing him off as a future prospect in India XI is laughable. He was 2nd leading wicket taker in the 2007/08 domestic Ranaji Season and scored some handy runs too. He did bowl really well against that ODI series against Australia. His ODI bowling record isnt bad either. Our bowling is collectively responsible for this failure.

  25. In your post “Naakh Kata in Nagpur” you wrote:

    “Of course all this is just a passing cloud. Very soon we will have the Premier Mujra League getting underway in which Dhoni will hit the mickey out of Steyn, Morkel wont be able to get in a game and Harbhajan Singh will slap all and sundry with bat, ball and hand while strutting around like the super-stud that he thinks he is. “All iz well” will be the mantra once again since we wont have Test engagements for most of the year and IPL and an assortment of meaningless muqablas and mahayuddhs would have wiped the lessons of Nagpur clean from our minds.”

    How true.

  26. I am so glad that I didn’t pay extra for the TV subscription of ESPN

  27. Every team has their Achilles heel – we can’t play the perfume ball, so too the Aussies who flounder on spinning tracks. However, they more than make up for such shortcomings thru their determination, attitude, athleticism….their match against Bangladesh just shows their never-say-die spirit. From a hopeless position while batting, Oz wrested the intitative thru an all-round gutsy performance (including some superlative catches) and clinically managed to come out on top! Matches can be won or lost, but can Dhoni and his brigade ever learn how to overcome the odds?

  28. This guy has left us miserable on 3 occassions.
    last 2 wc s and match where sachin made 175. righty said.
    dhoni is saving the main who dont deserve to be saved!

  29. @Harsh: Basically picking Robin Uthappa would have helped. Because he was in good form in IPL. Jadeja didnot play a single match.. and Vijay was not consistent in IPL. Robin Uthappa had international experience, which Vijay did not have. So picking Robin Uthappa would have helped.

  30. If only the ICC had provided some good cheerleaders and some nice post-macth parties, we could have motivated our players to “perform” better.

  31. @Muktak – I agree Uthappa was in form during IPL, but that was basically during the first half of the tournament. Also, the conditions were significantly different in India, than in Barbados. I don’t think Uthappa is any better than the players currently in WI, when it comes to playing quality short-pitched bowling. If you see the tapes back from Aus tour in 2008, he couldn’t handle Nathan Bracken and company, forget handling Johnson, Tait, and Nannes.

  32. Jadeja in the team after the match against Australia, in the process benching a genuine bowler. Hell they could just played ten men and that would have been better.

    [b]Lolz……..very correctly written…..from now on, we can consider that Ravindra Jadeja as an opposition winner……..

    Ma thumbs down to Kris Srikanth and co, dhoni – please give jadeja one more chance to prove his worth as an allrounder[:D][:D]

  33. The law of probability states can even Kishor can talk sense sometimes, lo & behold, he just did it, didn’t he?

  34. two years, four ICC touranments, India has failed mistrably. For all the peans being sung to youngistan, we must accept that we are without the fab quartet of laxman, sachin, dravid a very ordinary side.@greatbong, this year the selection did not take into account ipl performances much, else uttappa and ojha shud have made the cut. it is high time we discard players like Jadeja and Pathan and prob even drop Yuvi for a while

  35. it takes years of experience to play the short ball well…every batsman struggles against short fast bowling regardless of which team he is from..only guys brought up on short fast pitches like damien martyn etc are very good at it or guys with superb reflexes like ponting…even steve waugh would have struggled to hit balls consistently aimed at his ribcage…until we get sporting pitches which our guys play on consistently we will struggle

    at least we should dish it out with some quicks of our own to make it equally hard for the other side..ishant/yadav/vrv get bashed in the IPL but would have been effective at barbados..but our selectors are brain dead so no cigar

  36. @harsh, please tell me the last time Jadeja played a matchwinning innings or took a clutch of wickets in places outside the subcontinent…

  37. @Nikhil – I don’t remember Jadeja being effective outside of sub-continent. However, I never argued that he should have played in matches against Australia and WI. I do think he has potential and should be developed. Here’s what I wrote-
    ” Jadeja is a good player, had a bad day against Australia. Happens to everyone, can’t perform everyday. However, he shouldn’t even have been in the team to begin with. This dumbass, inflexible policy of not choosing players according to match situation is going to cost India in the long term. Why are we playing 3 spinners on a wicket with bounce and pace. More importantly, why take a 4th seamer if you wouldn’t play him in this exact circumstance?”

  38. I dont really agree any fact of statistics depicting Ravindra jadeja as good player…
    in that case there are many players in line like Saurabh tiwary, rayudu who can bat very well if required…..

    and Ashhok Dinda is one of the worst bowlers i have seen while bowling ….the spell against david warner was a lucky fluke……..the same guys had uthappa and jayawardhane thrashing them here and there
    wriddhiman saha, cheteshwar pujara are on same plate…

    Whatever everybody says about uthappa cant be directly accepted as he has indeed put on lot of muscles and strength by doing consistent exercises and is more fit in field.

    and remember that he was better perfomer in IPL than Murali vijay who was the most fluke batsman selected only on basis of IPL century …
    why wasnt the same rule applied to Manish pandey then?

    Father of Anirudh S should give answer to all these question …accept the responsibility and resign …

  39. One of the most well balanced, well researched and pragmatic pieces on the ongoing WC.

  40. i feel even irfan pathan who goes for runs would have done a better job than jadeja..jadeja is neither a bowler nor a batsman..what the hell is he??

  41. the only problem with articles that appear to be too wise in hindsight is precisely that. The hindsight.
    Would have liked to see this analysis and thumbing down of jadeja before the WC begun.

    I am no fan of him but I have more than a suspicion that if he had done really well, I would have seen an article here blaming BCCI for keeping a talent like him out of IPL just because he is not a big fish yet.

    Ah well…such is life

  42. It is not Ravindra Jadeja’s fault that he is shit. He has taken the World Cup 2009 to prove it. It is our fault that we continue to play him in World Cup 2010.
    On a slightly less cynical note, he is more likely to play better (even if it’s marginally) in the sub-continent.
    Unfortunately I expect this fellow to be actively involved in scuttling our chances in the 2011 World Cup.
    Piyush Chawla was selected ahead of Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra because he was apparently a better batsman and fielder than the other two. Wonder what he feels if the team management believes that Jadeja is a better cricketer than him.

  43. If I remember correctly you had tweeted that SRT’s captaincy is poorer than Dhoni’s . Well ,well ,well . Now what does this adamance in persisting with dibbly-dobbly part time spinners prove?

    Dhoni though a very good captain is fallible(and I am not referring to his stopping at red light areas here). He is not of the class of Steve Waugh or even Saurav Ganguly .

    (This winning habit was developed by Saurav Ganguly and John Wright or at least the seeds were sown during their days . )

    Dhoni and SRT have something in common though , they take bizzare decisions while captaining sometimes.

  44. Nice one! It is not just short pitched balls, we are bad at facing. We are bad at facing pace attack in general.

  45. So many cricket matches being played… so many tournaments.. cricket on news channels, cricket on radio, cricket on papers.. bas karo ab.. bore ho gaya

  46. cricket on blogs too 😦

  47. arnab da…. chhobi gulo kothay gelo????

  48. Let us usher in a new era- welcome Kris Srikkanth as the six-hitting opener! Ravi Shastri will be the cheerleader in a short top!

  49. dhoni has done a great service to Indian cricket by making the team lose 2 T20 world-cups. Now that Modi is also gone, I am very much looking forward to a hypeless and bouncer filled IPL

  50. Robin for a Patan and Ojha in place of Jadeja would have been a good choice

    Revamp Zonal kind of selection and select team which is good for india

  51. I do not really get the concept of “not deserving” to be in the semis. In all tournaments, for good teams and bad, you do need a little (sometimes more) luck to progress. In the end, if you come off good, that’s all that matters. Most tournaments, cricket or otherwise, has seen a lot of “non-deserving” teams in terms of quality of performance, reaching the semis or finals, and sometimes even winning them.

  52. @hamp
    you did get your answer after today’s pasting, right?

  53. Just apt stinging words if tht can pierce the Mr’ India’s (DHoni) mind. And feel a ltl sry to take out India out of d comepetition. Waiting for ur take on yesterday’s match against SRILANKA.

  54. West Indies’ pitches does not offer that much bounce they are just ok. You cannt just blame Ravindra Jadeja for the humiliating losses what about Captain Dhoni, Prince Yuvraj, Murali Vijay, Bhajji. ACtually all of them were out of touch except Raina. Zaheer khan was leaking runs and our spinners were not able to contain the opposition in middle overs. you cannt ask for more from a squad of clowns who according to sports commentators/analysts are underperformers.

    Having said that I think on subcontinental pitches we still are a formidable side thanks to Jadejas and Pathans as their tepid spin bowling is effective in Indian pitches.

  55. Nice one again 😉
    It is widely believed that BCCI has informed ICC(owing to its clout in International Cricket) that the Indian team should be allowed to play 7-8 foreign players in its side. It doesnt stops there. At the same time, India should also be allowed to inject atleast 7-8 of their own Indian players into the opposition side. This number will not include Ravindra Jadeja, who will be a permanent member of the team playing against India.Read more on my blog..

    Chirainda Blogger

  56. Ravindra Jadeja disappointed us today…

    -Mumbai Indians fan

  57. What a comeback has it been for Jadeja! Even a triple hundred today!! :O

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