India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja achieved a rare feat on Tuesday when India thumped hosts Australia by eight wickets at the MCG to level the four-Test series 1-1. The left-hander became only the third Indian player to 50 matches across all three formats of the sport.
Jadeja, who played a vital role in India's victory in the second Test, joined the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli in the elite list. Expressing gratitude towards his teammates and the Indian board, the 32-year-old said that he feels honoured to be a part of the illustrious list.
“It’s a great honour to join Mahi Bhai and Virat as the only others to have played 50 games across all 3 formats for India. A big thank you to the BCCI, my teammates, the brilliant support staff for showing faith in me and for always backing me. Onwards and upwards. Jai Hind,” Jadeja tweeted Jadeja after India gained a comprehensive victory in Melbourne.
Jadeja, playing his first Test of the series, had a stellar outing at the MCG where he picked up three wickets in the match. In the first innings, the Jamnagar-born slammed his 15th Test fifty while adding 121 runs with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane. The duo's century stand helped India in achieving a commanding 131-run lead over the hosts.
The all-rounder also had a brilliant white-ball series against the Aussies where he scored an unbeaten 66 in the third and final ODI, putting up 150 runs with Hardik Pandya for the sixth wicket. This was also the biggest 6th wicket stand in ODIs in Australia. Jadeja again came to the rescue in the first T20I at Manuka Oval where he notched up unbeaten 44 before he was replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal as concussion substitute. Jadeja smashed 44 runs off just 23 balls -- the most by any Indian batting at the No.7 position or below.
Jadeja has so far played 50 Tests, 168 ODIs and 50 T20Is in his career, scoring over 4,000 runs across all three formats. He also has 216, 188 and 39 scalps in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively.
India head coach Ravi Shastri also heaped praise on Jadeja after the Boxing Day Test, calling him a 'genuine' all-rounder. "He is a genuine all-rounder and that's why he bats where he is. He can bat at No.6 or even No.5, on given occasions but is a genuine all-rounder. That''s why he lends a lot of balance to the side."
"With Jadeja, you get that balance and also the fast bowlers get a respite with both Jaddu and Ash (R Ashwin) bowling."