Ravindra Jadeja was hailed as one of the world’s best all-rounders on Monday after his reckless unbeaten 175 with the bat and nine-wicket haul with the ball propelled India to a first-ever test win over Sri Lanka in three days.
The left-hander’s match-defining knock in Mohali, his best in Tests, and figures of 5-41 and 4-46 with his left arm rotation saw Sri Lanka crushed by an innings and 222 runs on Sunday.
Former India-pace bowler Irfan Pathan tweeted: “Best spin bowling all-rounder? Sure, nobody comes close to @imjadeja right now!”
New captain Rohit Sharma said Jadeja balanced the team with his range of skills.
“For me he is one of the best all-rounders,” said Rohit, adding that he hoped to give him more hitting opportunities.
Jadeja, 33, is currently third in the ICC rankings for Test all-rounders behind compatriot Ravichandran Ashwin and West Indies number one Jason Holder.
In 2008, Australian legend Shane Warne, who passed away suddenly on Friday aged 52, had called rookie Jadeja a ‘rock star’ when they played together for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
“We were just coming out of our U19s and to share the dressing room with Warne was something huge,” said Jadeja, paying tribute to the leg spinner who took 708 test wickets. “He gave me a huge platform and after U19 it was a direct entry into the IPL.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted on Sunday: “The ‘Rockstar’ as Warney called him has a game in his memory… Fantastic.”
Former Indian batter VVS Laxman, now head of the National Cricket Academy, said Jadeja had been “spectacular with both bat and ball, further proving why he is arguably the best all-rounder in the world.”
Veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said on social media: “Glad to see Jadeja play like this. Bat and ball. Now, deservedly so, one of the best all-rounders in the game in all eras.”
India were 228-5 when Jadeja came to the fold. He stood undefeated after leading them, declaring a mammoth 578-8 in which he enjoyed partnerships of 104 with Rishabh Pant, 130 with Ashwin and an undefeated 107 with Mohammed Shami.
It was the second Test hundred for the flamboyant southpaw, who is famous for his bat-twirling celebrations, although he has hit three first-class triple centuries, including a best of 331, hitting number four for his state side Saurashtra.
He has played 58 Tests for India since his debut in 2012, scoring 2,370 runs at an average of 36.46 and taking 241 wickets including 10 innings from five wicket.
The game against Sri Lanka was ex-captain and batting superstar Virat Kohli’s 100th for India, but former opener Wasim Jaffer said it would now be known as “Jadeja’s Test” forever.