Skipper Jasprit Bumrah called all the shots for team India on a rain-affected day. First, he hit a quick-fire 31 off 16 balls and then picked three top order England wickets to keep India on top of the final Test match at Edgbaston.
It had to be team England who are 2/1 down in the series to chase the game to level the series but the way India batted in the morning session scoring 78 runs in 11 overs it seemed certain that India did not want to play a defensive game and draw the Test match and win the series. Instead they played the same attacking style of cricket as England has played in their last series against New Zealand.
The first day was lit up by Rishabh Pant which took India from a precarious position of 98/5 to 338/7 and today it was Ravindra Jadeja who scored his first hundred outside India and was instrumental along with Pant to bail India out of the woods when James Anderson had run havoc in swinging conditions in the first half of day one.
When Ravi Shastri who was the head coach of the team till last year was asked on commentary why they always picked Jadeja ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin who is the main spinner, Shastri replied it was a very tough call to leave Ashwin out. But Jadeja had the edge over Ashwin because of his batting and by far he was India’s best fielder and picking four seamers in English conditions gave them more control than picking two spinners and three seamers.
And Jadeja once again proved Shastri’s words right as to why he was the first choice ahead of Ashwin by putting on a partnership of 222 with Pant and putting India in the driver’s seat. He kept his composure when batting with Pant and did not let his ego get ahead of him by playing attacking cricket and was rotating the strike and giving back to Pant who was taking the attack to the English bowlers. Pant must have got all the credit yesterday but it was Jadeja who whose hundred was equally important for India to have control in the game.
Jadeja has been India’s number one all-rounder for the last few years in Test cricket scoring 2,500 runs at a healthy average of 36 and more importantly picking up 242 wickets at an average of less than 25 and along with it his excellent fielding has made him a three dimensional player. No wonder the late Shane Warne called him a Rockstar and his team mates call him Sir Ravindra Jadeja.