S. SOORAJ | 26th April 2021

The Chennai Super Kings’ biggest strength down the years has been its all-rounding department. They have had some quality all-rounders play for them over the years with the likes of Albie Morkel, Dwayne Bravo and Scott Styris to name a few. But among all those all-rounders, there is one constant name that has been standing out for multiple seasons. That name has also been a fan favourite and the first name in the starting line-up constantly and that’s that Ravindra Jadeja.

The mercurial Jadeja is immensely consistent for both country and franchise which is why he is undoubtedly the best all-rounder on the planet. And even when they had a poor run last season, Jaddu didn’t fail to impress. In the absence of a proper power hitter, he took over the finisher’s role and kept delivering consistently. 

This season, CSK have improved a lot and have been showing a lot of promise with quality displays from the batting line-up. With the improvement in the batting, Jadeja has settled well as the finisher for the team, a role that defined MS Dhoni in his prime. We saw glimpses of what Jadeja can do as a finisher in the past few matches. But yesterday, we witnessed what was one of the greatest finishing performances of all time from the little powerhouse.

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Jadeja is an explosive batsman, a wily bowler and the world’s best fielder, all rolled into one. And for those who continue to regard him as a ‘bits-and-pieces’ cricketer, how are them apples?

After a pretty slow start to his innings, Sir Ravindra Jadeja got to his stride only in the last over of the game where he got 36 runs off the over. He hammered the purple cap holder Harshal Patel multiple times over the boundary line. Patel was having yet another superb outing with 3-14 of his first three overs. He has consistently proven to be an effective death bowler for RCB but Jaddu was in a different mood yesterday. He smashed five sixes and a four off Harshal Patel’s final over and helped his side reach 191 in their 20.  

From 145-4 in 18 overs, Jadeja’s heroics made sure that CSK reached a formidable target on the board. CSK scored 46 off the last two overs with 37 coming off the last over, equalling Chris Gayle’s 37 run-over against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala.

As it turned out to be an iconic over in IPL history, the battering also led to adding some much-needed runs for Chennai who were stumbling towards the end of the game and didn’t seem like getting past 160.

After a scintillating performance in the first innings by Jadeja, RCB got off to a flying start with Devdutt Padikkal smashing the bowlers left, right and centre. RCB didn’t seem to slow down until Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur dismissed Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal respectively. But a certain Ravi Jadeja wasn’t done, even after his unreal knock of 62 from 28 balls.

A brilliant spell between him and Imran Tahir saw a collapse of the intimidating RCB batting lineup. After dismissing Washington Sundar in his first over, Jadeja knocked the stumps off both the dangerous Glen Maxwell and the ever-dependable AB de Villiers with two brilliant deliveries. 

Jaddu was sensational with the ball, maintaining a wicket-to-wicket line to send the batsmen into a tizzy. He even came up with a blinder to knock the bails off AB de Villiers, who isn’t used to getting out that way. If that wasn’t enough, he made a direct hit on the field to dismiss Dan Christian. Jadeja was at the top of his game in every possible department, clinching the game comfortably for CSK single-handedly. 

Comparing it to the best IPL performances of all time

What we witnessed yesterday from Ravindra Jadeja was one of the best all-round performances pulled off by anyone in IPL history along with Yuvraj Singh’s 38-ball 83 and 4-35 against RR in 2014 and Paul Valthaty’s 75 off 47 and 4-29 in 2011. Even Ravindra Jadeja himself has pulled off some exceptional performances like this before when he scored a blitzkrieg 48 off 29 and took an amazing 5-16 against the Delhi Capitals. Jadeja’s performance yesterday night will surely go up in that list as one of the greatest all-round IPL performances ever.

Ravindra Jadeja is the complete package and with CSK perched at numero uno in the IPL table, expect more hammerings like this from the men in yellow.