Despite being a gun fielder and an effective bowler, his scoring rate with the bat made us question his place as a lower middle-order batsman. Not anymore.
Ravindra Jadeja's batting in T20 cricket has always been a widely discussed topic. Among the 34 players who have scored at least 2000 T20 runs batting at No. 5 or lower, Jadeja's strike-rate of 125.35 is the fifth-lowest. Even though he has always been a gun fielder and an effective bowler, it is his scoring rate with the bat that has always forced us to question his place as a lower middle-order batsman in the format.
The 31-year-old has been playing T20 cricket for over a decade now, yet, we have never seen significant improvement in his scoring rate. However, it seems that things are changing finally, considering how he has batted in the ongoing edition of the Indian T20 League so far.
After all these years, Jadeja has finally started scoring at a rate that was always expected of him. He has amassed 232 runs in the ongoing Indian T20 League season thus far at a strike-rate of 171.85 -- the fourth-best among all players. Only Kieron Pollard (200), Jofra Archer (198.14) and Hardik Pandya (174.63) have registered a better strike-rate than Jadeja.
In fact, his strike-rate of 171.85 in this edition is the highest he has ever registered in any season of the Indian T20 League since 2008. A strike-rate of 148.9 was his highest before this and it came way back in the 2013 edition of the tournament. It has never gone past 140 since then.
Moreover, 182 of his total tally of runs this season have come in the death overs (17-20) and that too at a strike-rate of 214.12 -- the fifth-best among players who have faced at least 30 deliveries in this phase during the season.
|AB de Villiers||170||72||56.67||236.11|
Table: Batsmen with top five strike-rates in the death overs (17-20) of Indian T20 League 2020 (Filter: Minimum 30 balls faced)
Not only that, nobody has scored more runs than Jadeja in this phase till now. His tally of 182 runs is the highest in this phase this season and he has hit the most number of fours (18) as well. As far as hitting sixes in the death overs are concerned, Jadeja's tally of 10 sixes is the joint-third-best once again.
So these numbers sum up how Jadeja has improved his power hitting abilities vastly this season. That is great news for the Indian team as they can easily field Jadeja in the XI now without being concerned too much about death overs scoring. Jadeja can form a lethal batting pair along with Hardik Pandya in the death overs for India, and his enhanced hitting abilities now will allow the team to enjoy the luxury of fielding an extra bowler as well.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Chennai