Mohali: As Ravindra Jadeja brought up his second Test century, the on-air commentary made a mention of the ‘rockstar’ nickname given to him by Shane Warne during the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. It was quite ironic that a day after Warne’s sudden demise at the age of 52, Jadeja raced to his century, eventually ending up unbeaten at a career-best 175.
Everything about Jadeja’s mammoth knock had the feel of a rockstar. The ease with which he reached his fifty, solid defence mixed with lovely shots travelling off his bat to the boundary rope, his involvement in three 100-plus stands with Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami, Jadeja’s knock reiterated his rockstar abilities Warne had said in 2008.
“Absolutely shocked to hear about Shane Warne. A terrific statesman of our game. May God bless his soul and my condolences to his loved ones,” Jadeja had tweeted on Friday, just after the world got to know of Warne’s sudden demise in Thailand.
Replying to the allrounder’s post, broadcaster Harsha Bhogle recalled on Twitter the ‘rockstar’ conversation with Warne during 2008 IPL. “He loved you Jaddu. Remember the time in 2008 at the DY Patil Stadium... He called you over and said to me ‘This kid is a rockstar’. We chatted more than once about you and he was very fond of you and of Yusuf.”
Jadeja replied with, “Yes harsha bhai, I still remember that chat. Really sad news.” On Saturday, just after Jadeja reached the three-figure mark and took out his trademark sword celebration, Rajasthan Royals, where Warne and Jadeja were together for the inaugural IPL win in 2008, tweeted, “100* off 160. Rockstar Jadeja. You’ve made him proud.”
Riding on Jadeja’s innings, India extended their stronghold as Sri Lanka ended the day at 108/4 in 43 overs. After declaring at 574/8 in 129.2 overs, India picked four Lankan wickets in the final session to put the visitors on the backfoot while enjoying a lead of 466 runs.
Sri Lanka got off to a steady start as Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne got 48 runs in the first 18 overs. India used four bowlers within the first 10 overs but didn’t get much help from the pitch. Ravichandran Ashwin’s introduction made things tough for Thirimanne and eventually, the off-spinner enticed him in defending forward and beating the inner edge to trap the batter plumb lbw.
Karunaratne managed to survive testing over from Mohammed Shami. But Jadeja, who got some turn and created chances for lbw shouts, struck with his second ball of the day, trapping Karunaratne with a spinning-in delivery and hit him on pads plumb in front of stumps while trying to sweep.
Brief scores: India 574/8 dec in 129.2 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 175 not out, Rishabh Pant 96; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/188, Suranga Lakmal 2/90) vs Sri Lanka 108/4 in 43 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 28, Pathum Nissanka 26 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/21, Jasprit Bumrah 1/20).