RAJ-OYALTY FROM JAMNAGAR-RAVINDRA JADEJA

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Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja, popularly known as Ravindra Jadeja is not an alien name for cricket fans across the world. Ravindra Jadeja is an all-rounder cricketer, left-handed middle-order batsman, and slow left-arm orthodox bowler. He is a representative of Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League. But is this introduction enough for this all-rounder? Let’s do justice to this multi-faceted personality and have a glimpse at the multiple dimensions that make him what he is.

TEAM, TUSSLE AND TRANSFORMATION   

Ravindra Jadeja, who started his Test career in 2012 knows no short cuts when it comes to his journey to the Indian Cricket cosmos. Jadeja was a part of Indian Cricket U-19 Team that had won the World Cup in 2008, under the captaincy of ‘chasing specialist’ Virat Kohli.  Though he made his ODI debut in 2009 against Sri Lanka, he had to wait for another four years to complete the circle. Finally, on December 13, 2012, Jadeja debuted against England in a test match.

And since then it has been a roller coaster ride for the cricketer and his fans.

At the beginning of his career, Jadeja was not a dependable name in the team and was only viewed as a ‘bits and pieces’ player. Often tagged as ‘over-aggressive, flashy and flamboyant’, the cricketer made many people raise their eyebrows when selected for his first test match. He was not a conventional player and was fit for the modern format of cricket. Test cricket is all about calmness and composure and what Jadeja exhibited was aggressive hunger for victory. Critics predicted his career to be doomed and the team paid no heed to this then black sheep.

However, this raging cricketer claimed the applaud that was long due when he silenced everyone with his splendid performance against Australia. He claimed 24 wickets in four matches. But the roller coaster ride had to come crashing down with his tours to Australia, South Africa and  England. He could not prove his mettle as a bowler which made it compulsory for him to do so as a batsman. But spiraling downwards he failed to give any remarkable performance.

Jadeja served his penance playing Ranji in 2015-16 and reaped the rewards taking 5 consecutive wickets and was immediately selected for test series against Proteas. And then there was no turning back for the all-rounder, once considered an  ‘itsy-bitsy cricketer’. 

COURTING CONTROVERSIES

The star cricketer from Rajkot had been in headlines not only for his winning streak but the controversies he created on his way to stardom. Ugly altercations and expletives are not an alien concept on the cricket field. India vs England test match at Trent Bridge also witnessed such an exchange between Anderson and Jadeja. Both the cricketers showered each other with profanity. Anderson, allegedly, pushed Jadeja in the corridor leading to the dressing room. The matter turned nasty so much so that ICC had to appoint a judicial commissioner to resolve the issue.

IPL is the storehouse of entertaining news for cricket fans and controversies for cricketers. Jadeja gave way to another controversy when he, being a part of Rajasthan Team, tried to negotiate a deal with other IPL franchises. The player got himself banned from IPL grounds for breaching players’ guidelines.

Squabbles on the field between opposing teams is a common sight but players are not immune to within the team feuds too. Cricket fans had to witness an ugly scene during India vs West Indies ODI when an enraged Jadeja decided to confront Raina after the latter had dropped a couple of catches while Jadeja was serving the ball. The hot-headed cricketer didn’t shy away from questioning Raina’s intent of playing after losing the captaincy. The scene had got so ugly that the teammates had to physically separate Jadeja and Raina.

The charming cricketer had fallen prey to controversies through no fault of his own, too. The last thing one expects on his wedding day is to care about cops showing up at the venue without RSVP. Jadeja had to deal with angry police officers when one of his relatives got carried away in the celebration and fire a gunshot at the cricketer’s wedding reception. 

ROYAL RAJPUT

Many a time Jadeja had been suggested to shun the personality of Rajput that he carries within but we all know how difficult it is to separate royalty from a Rajput. Lockdown again brought his royal persona out and about. The all-rounder is known for his love for horses and this love doesn’t restrict itself to admiring this beastly beauty from a distance.  Recently, the cricketer shared a photograph of himself with a horse and it’s not the first time we have seen him with a royal ride. Earlier also he had treated his fans with a picture riding a horse. His equestrian knowledge is both folksy and scientific. 

Jadeja’s love for animals doesn’t stop at horses. He keeps on taking rabbits, fish, dogs and pigeons home. Who would think that a horse lover like Jadeja would not shy away from the romanticism of keeping doves, too?  Like his dynamic personality, his choices are also diverse. 

Connected to the royal roots of Jamnagar, Jadeja always aspired to become modern-day royalty. His aspiration was fulfilled when the boy who had opened his eyes in a government flat fenced an 8-acre plot and built a sprawling mansion for himself. He is keen on farmhouses and arrives in an A4 Audi, custom made for the cricketer. 

After his mother’s death in a tragic and painful accident Naina, his elder sister is the biggest support of Jadeja’s life. Naina says that her brother isn’t an aggressive, enraging cricketer that cricket fans perceive him to be. Rather, he is a misunderstood player and a restless person. Sometimes he makes wrong decisions in the heat of the moment but doesn’t hide behind his stardom. His coach from his hometown describes him as a disciplined player who is still rooted in the ground he was raised at. 

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