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Jadeja: Rock, star


Deepankar Sharda

Mohali, March 5

After Rishabh Pant’s fireworks had lighted the Test on Thursday, today was all about Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounder dished out a career-best 175 off 228 balls to help India post a massive first innings total against Sri Lanka at the PCA stadium here.

Resuming at their overnight total of 357/6, India declared at 574/8 — which had Jadeja written all over it. His unconquered 175 was studded with 17 fours and three sixes. By doing so, he also went past Kapil Dev’s 35-year-old record of the highest score by an Indian at No. 7.

Records at No.7

Kapil Dev had amassed 163 against Sri Lanka in Kanpur in 1986.
Apart from Jadeja and Dev, Pant is the only other Indian to play a 150-plus knock while batting at No. 7. MS Dhoni’s highest Test score at No. 7 is 144.

Since his Test debut in 2012, Jadeja had scored only one Test ton, against West Indies at Rajkot in 2018, when he was unbeaten in both the innings. The left-hander combined in two 100-run stands ndash; with Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami ndash; to leave the Lankans gasping. Jadeja and Ashwin were off to a good start as they extended their partnership to raise a 103-run for the seventh wicket. The partnership, however, was broken by Suranga Lakmal when he accounted for Ashwin (61 off 82 balls).

It was shocking to hear about his (Warne’s) death. In 2008 during the IPL, just after playing U-19, I got an opportunity to share a same dressing room with him. Back in my U-19 days, he was a superhero and it was a proud moment for me to play under him. —Jadeja on Shane Warne’s demise

After the dismissal, Jayant Yadav moved in, but could contribute only a couple of runs. Yadav’s innings ended as he played a poor shot off Vishwa Fernando’s full-length delivery and was caught by Lahiru Thirimanne, standing at first slip. He was the first Indian player to get dismissed under the score of 25. At 471/8, Mohammed Shami partnered Jadeja and ensured the day ended as one to savour for a long time. The two raised an unbeaten 103 runs. Captain Rohit Sharma then decided to declare the innings after 124 overs, with Shami remaining unbeaten on 20.

Sri Lankans in trouble

Chasing a mammoth total, on a pitch which is now expected to respond to the spin bowlers, Sri Lanka lost four crucial wickets. While Ashwin claimed Lahiru Thirimanne (17), Jadeja joined the club by ensuring opener Dimuth Karunaratne’s (28) wicket to reduce the visitors to 59/2. Thereafter, Pathum Nissanka and Angelo Mathews tried their best to close the day unbeaten.

However, Jasprit Bumrah opened his account by claiming Mathews (22). The trouble did not stop as Ashwin accounted for Dhananjaya de Silva (1) to reduce Sri Lanka to 103/4. At stumps, the visitors were 108/4 with Nissanka (26) and Charith Asalanka (1) at the crease.

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