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Ben Stokes is in the room. Cameron Green is there. Ashwin, Ravichandran, is there. Daryl Mitchell is there. The list is endless, but after Ravindra Jadeja‘s crucial contribution to India taking the lead in the opening Test match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad, former England captain Michael Vaughan referred to him as the best all-rounder in the world.

After helping India bowl out England for 246 on Day 1 by taking three wickets with the ball, Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 81 with the bat on Day 2. Together with Axar Patel (35), he amassed an unbroken 63 runs for the eighth wicket, helping India reach 421/7 at stumps with a commanding 175 lead.

A fair appraisal of the former England was not too far off. On a slightly tacky pitch, India’s ascent to the top was more tectonic, and Jadeja’s risk-taking skills were crucial.

It was perfect, in a way, for the left-hander, who enjoys a middle-of-the-road scrap. Rahul was in full swing when Jadeja came to bat, and he contributed a few blows of his own to the celebration.

As a matter of fact, India made 35 runs off of the first 40 balls he faced, quickly taking the lead and narrowing the deficit with England.

However, Jadeja had to change his strategy after Rahul was dismissed after scoring 86 runs off 123 balls. At that time, India’s lead was still just 42, so he batted long enough to add more stories above that nascent foundation.

Jadeja carried it out exactly. He did slow down, but not to the point of withdrawing into a shell; instead, he became more forthcoming whenever England bowlers made mistakes in their lengths.

 

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