Jadeja’s fine comeback from injury is surely a positive sign and a big relief for the Indian team management with the Test series against Australia starting next month.
“First cherry of the season. #redcherry,” Jadeja tweeted after taking the seven-wicket haul.
First cherry of the season.#redcherry https://t.co/NY0TYwQjxn
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) 1674735045000
Jadeja has been out of the action since September 2022, after he picked up a knee injury during the Asia Cup. Post that, he underwent a knee surgery and went to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation.
Star all-rounder Jadeja ran through the TN batting lineup to lead Saurashtra’s fightback after conceding a huge first innings lead. Jadeja returned superb figures of 7 for 53 in 17.1 overs to bring Saurashtra back into contention for a win.
The visiting team was dismissed for 192 in response to TN’s first innings score of 324, conceding a lead of 132 runs. However, Jadeja’s heroics helped Saurashtra bundle out the home team for 133 in just 36.1 overs in the second innings.
Needing 266 runs for an outright win, the former Ranji champions lost the wicket of opening batter Jay Gohil (0) to end the day at 4 for 1.
Resuming at the overnight 92 for 3, Saurashtra must have pinned hopes on Jadeja coming up with a substantial knock to swell the score. However, the stand in captain could make only 15 (23 balls, 3 fours) before B Aparajith trapped in front of the wicket.
Young left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram and fellow spinner M Siddharth did well for TN, picking up three wickets each to engineer a collapse. From 101 for 3, Saurashtra were bowled out for 192 in 79.4 overs with Chirag Jani (49) being the top-scorer.
In the second innings, Tamil Nadu came up against an inspired Ravindra Jadeja as the crafty spinner made great use of the conditions with the ball staying low to wreak havoc.
Along with fellow spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (3/64), the Saurashtra skipper kept TN batters on the tenterhooks.
The home team slumped to 4 for 2 with Dharmendrasinh Jadeja removing opening batter N Jagadeesan for a duck and the power-hitting M Shahrukh Khan (2).
The 32-year Dharmendrasinh Jadeja then scalped the wicket of Aparajith (4) as Tamil Nadu slipped further. The stylish B Sai Sudharsan, in the meanwhile, batted in a circumspect manner to counter the twin Jadeja menace.
He hit only three boundaries in his 37 (73 balls) as the southpaw tried to rescue TN in the company of B Indrajith, one of the better players of spin in the home line-up.
Once Jadeja got into the act by bowling Indrajith (28, 53 balls, 2 fours), it was Saurashtra all the way. The ace all-rounder returning to competitive cricket after having last played for the country in August, 2022, posed all sorts of problems for the TN batters.
A relentless Jadeja got TN captain Pradosh Ranjan Paul, the in-form player for 8 and then Vijay Shankar, who has scored three tons this season. The lower order simply caved in as the team capitulated from 105 for 6 to 133 all out in the space of five overs.
(With inputs from PTI)