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Jan 30 – In praise of Sir Ravindra Jadeja

Unsighted during the Test Series in Australia, Sir Jadeja is still an unknown quantity, one of the rank outsiders India has brought to Australia to pull off an unlikely quarter final berth in WC15. If he is a known unknown for his many Rumsfeldesque detractors, he is an enigma to his supporters, armed with the promise of limitless potential rarely seen. Yet when the switch accidentally trips to ON he can fire in a dazzling blaze of glory.

I need to take a break for another line off the cistern… hallucinating off a dew drop about the prospects of an Indian WC15 victory from players with little form is difficult at the best of times….

Where was I? Ah, yes….Sir Jadeja. If only he can manage to get across the rope again, the self-styled knight errant of Indian cricket may yet turn out to be the toad in the hole at the long break in a big game.

I’ve repeated a now crumpled note Sir Jadeja gave to me in a happier time when form was not a problem. Make of it what you will, or hallucinate. I’m out.

Sir Jadeja

[Indian spin sensation]

I have a perpetual 11 month export license from the BCCI. I am the live wire ‘seventh’ choice batsman for the Men in Blue who can spin, and the mythical ‘third’ choice spinner who can bat. I am the only batsman ever to have scored three triple tons in Indian domestic cricket and the only player to have scalped ‘The Pup’ 5 times in one series in the same 18 months in which he scored four double hundreds [Ed. A few years ago now!]

When I play the world comes to me, his Majesty Sir Ravindra Charles Jadeja. Mahi says when I go out to bat the pavilion moves to the wicket. When I square cut the outfield moves anti-clockwise on average 15 degrees. When I loft over cover the screaming stands come to me; when I pull through mid-wicket the boundary rope is at my feet. Balls I hit stay hit – I’m working to hit more of them. When I bowl, the ball spins on a pin head like a turbine and twists space time into tiny eddies drawing in the bat like a magnet. The ball loops and spins away comfortably into the large hands of close in catchers. OUT.

The general theory of relativity helps me play. I am co-authoring an article on the quantum mechanics of spinning objects to be published in Nature next month. When I’m playing I could be playing for anyone – even the Black Caps – in a universal contest between earthlings and aliens, between good and evil, where I am the last man standing in the open air, an ageless Man in Blue.

Sir Jadeja – I am the real article.

Honestly and respectfully, I can ignite the lower order or take a brace under pressure. I play exciting, and successful, cricket – no offence. No one leaves a ground in tears when I have played – perhaps joyous frustration sometimes, but no tears.

Sir J

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