5th of October, 2018 will be an important day in the life of Ravindra Jadeja as the left-handed all-rounder finally scored his maiden Test ton and what made it even more special was that the ton was scored on his home ground, Rajkot.
Jadeja made his Test debut 6 years back, but the ton had eluded him despite coming close few times. He has batted at 8 for most of his Test career and often played according to the situation which demanded quick runs with the tail.
2018 has been a difficult year for Jadeja, as India has played most of it's Test cricket away from home where Ravichandran Ashwin remains the first choice spinner for the captain, Virat Kohli. Jadeja has spent a lot of time on the bench and in the nets, where he has worked hard on his cricket and fitness.
Since getting his chance to play at The Oval with Ashwin injured, Jadeja has been on top of his game with both bat and ball. He scored 86* in his comeback Test match, and picked up some important wickets too.
He was also recalled to the ODI side after more than a year in the Asia Cup when Akshar Patel injured his hand. Jadeja played some useful knocks with the bat in tough situations, including the final which India won on the last ball. He was frugle with the ball and excellent in the field which has opened up his chances of being in the team's equation for World Cup 2019.
Coming back to Rajkot, Jadeja batted above Ashwin and used the opportunity to get himself in before unleashing his full range of strokes against the Windies spinners. Jadeja found good support in Umesh Yadav and later Mohammad Shami as he reached his maiden hundred and Kohli declared.
On the field, Jadeja was again in the limelight when Shimron Hetmyer and Sunil Ambris were involved in a misunderstanding, giving Jadeja an easy opportunity to pick up the ball and throw it to the bowler, Ashwin who was ready to break the stumps.
However, Jadeja was perhaps still in awe of his hundred and started walking towards the wickets with the ball in his own hands. Hetmyer realized that he still had a chance and tried his best to rush back into his crease before Jadeja finally noticed him and effected a direct hit to run him out.
Here is the video of the dismissal:
The effort of Jadeja left Ravichandran Ashwin and skipper, Virat Kohli in utter shock as both gestured towards Jadeja to suggest, what is happening? Jadeja too understood that he nearly messed up the easiest of run outs and had a sheepish look on his face for a while after the dismissal.
After the day's play, Jadeja was asked about the incident, to which he replied, "Both batsmen were at the same end, so I thought I could easily hit the stumps. I was just walking at the stumps, and I didn't think he (Hetmyer) will start running. I can't think what would have happened if I hadn't hit the stumps, but then I threw it and luckily it hit the stumps."
It was eventually Jadeja's day as he didn't miss the stumps and had the fortune of picking up a wicket with his very first ball too.
(WITH INPUTS FROM INDIA TODAY)