On Tuesday morning, the curator at Chepauk was ruing the fact that due to Cyclone Vardah, he had been unable to produce a pitch dry enough for the Indian spinners to wreak havoc. Little did he know that Ravindra Jadeja would run through England on the final day to set up a memorable win.
There has always been the allegation against Jadeja that he is a ‘bad-wicket’ bowler -that is, he always produces his best performances on crumbling, tailored spinning tracks. This was his turn to prove the critics wrong. The left-arm spinner sounded satisfied, saying, “It wasn’t easy for the bowlers. That’s why it felt good all the more that I could break the partnerships whenever required.”
Skipper Virat Kohli was categorical in saying that it was wrong to assume Jadeja could only come up the goods in favourable conditions. “We don’t rely on Jadeja as a bad-wicket bowler. He is a perfect bowler in any conditions in Test cricket. Yes, in home matches he is more lethal, but in away games too he gives you the kind of accuracy that is needed.”
Jadeja was constantly on the mark in this Test match, hitting the right areas and making life difficult for the batsmen. On Tuesday, he kept hitting the rough and finally finished with a series tally of 26, only two behind R Ashwin. “His strength is bowling at a nice pace, not giving too much air and making the batsman think about how long they can defend,” Kohli said.