Ravindra Jadeja has ended Jason Holder’s reign after scoring an unbeaten 175 and taking nine wickets to lead India to victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
India’s Ravindra Jadeja has jumped to the top spot of the ICC’s Test rankings for all-rounders after his stellar show in the Mohali Test against Sri Lanka. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 175 and then took nine wickets to lead India to victory. Thne effort has helped him leapfrog West Indies’ Jason Holder, who has held the top spot since February 2021.
Jadeja had previously occupied the top spot in the all-rounders’ rankings for a week in August 2017.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, who also put up an all-round masterclass in the Mohali Test, remains on third behind Holder. Ashwin and Jadeja put up a partnership of 130 runs, which turned out to be India’s best partnership of the innings.
Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq moved to a career-best 63rd with 477 points after scoring twin centuries in the first Test against Australia in Rawalpindi.
Hi teammate Azhar Ali struck 185 and moved up ten places to 12 whilst Abdullah Shafique added a second-innings century to gain 27 places to 67. Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne missed out on a century, being dismissed for 90, but that was enough to gain a point up to 936 and 12th position on his own in the list of highest-ever batting ratings. Usman Khawaja also fell in the 90s but continued his renaissance, moving up six places to 24 with the bat, his highest position for three years.
Ravindra Jadeja scalps nine wickets as India crush Sri Lanka in Mohali Test
All-rounder follows upon his 175* with match haul of 9/87 to claim his third Player-of-the-Match at the venue after the hosts win first Test by an innings and 222 runs within 3 days.
India consigned Sri Lanka to an innings and 222-run defeat in the first Test at Mohali on Sunday. Resuming on the overnight first-innings score of 108/4, Sri Lanka folded for 174 in 65 overs. Asked to follow on, Sri Lanka lasted just 60 overs as they lost 16 wickets in the day on a fairly playable pitch.
It was an abject surrender by Sri Lanka, batting only 125 overs the entire Test, compared to the 129.2 overs India batted in the first innings. Their highest partnership in the Test was 58 runs between Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka for the fifth wicket in the first innings. Nissanka was unbeaten on 61 in the first innings and Niroshan Dickwella resisted with an unbeaten 51 in the second but Sri Lanka rarely displayed the composure to come even close to avoiding follow-on. Even at drinks in the morning, Sri Lanka were 161/5 but then capitulated. India took six wickets for 13 runs in the space of 43 balls, prompting Sharma to enforce the follow-on.
Helming this resounding win was Ravindra Jadeja, who became only the sixth man to score 150 or more and take a five-wicket haul in a Test. R Ashwin went past Kapil Dev, becoming the second-highest wicket-taker for India.
For his match haul of 9/87 and 175 not out, Jadeja won his third straight Mohali Test Player-of-the-Match award. “This is my lucky ground,” Ravindra Jadeja said at the presentation ceremony. “Whenever I come here I get positive vibes. When you perform like this, you feel very confident. I haven’t done anything differently with my batting, just backing my instincts.” Where Sri Lanka found this Test even more exacting was the lack of scoring opportunities even against India’s pacers. Jasprit Bumrah opened the proceedings of the day, squaring up Asalanka with a slower off-cutter that hit his back pad.
Like Bumrah in the first innings, Mohammed Shami came to the fore in the second when Sri Lanka were trying to recover from the early dismissals of Lahiru Thirimanne and Nissanka. Shami bowled a peach of a delivery to captain Dimuth Karunaratne that angled in full, landed on the seam, straightened and took a feather edge to Rishabh Pant’s gloves inches off the ground. Three down, Sri Lanka were hobbling. With a 49-run partnership between Angelo Mathews and Dhanajaya de Silva, Sri Lanka tried to put up at least a semblance of a fight but then Jadeja returned to remove Dhananjaya with a dipping ball that he ended up mishitting to Shreyas Iyer at short extra cover.
From there, it was a matter of time. Three wickets fell on the score of 121. Ashwin induced Asalanka to edge to slip to go past Kapil Dev’s Test record of 434 wickets. Ravindra Jadeja then removed Mathews and Suranga Lakmal in the same over to reduce Sri Lanka to seven down.
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As captain, Sharma couldn’t have had a more emphatic start, becoming only the second Indian captain to win his maiden Test in charge by an innings, after Polly Umrigar (beat New Zealand by an innings and 27 runs in Mumbai in 1955/56). “It was a good start,” said Sharma at the presentation. “It was a great game of cricket from our perspective. We ticked all the boxes. To be honest I didn’t think it was going to be that kind of a Test which would get over in three days. It was a good batting pitch, there was some turn, and some assistance for the seamers as well.”
While Sri Lanka didn’t set the gold standard in bowling, India’s biggest gain from this Test has been regaining the confidence big scores give. Not since 2019 had they crossed the 500-run mark so this will be a good achievement. India’s bowling at home has been phenomenal for some years now and the clinical nature of this victory again highlights the quality in every department, fast bowling or spin. “Lot of credit to the guys, they bowled very well in tandem, kept the pressure and never made it easier for the Sri Lanka batsmen,” said Sharma. “We just ensured we applied pressure from both ends. These are good signs for India cricket. This was a landmark Test for Virat and we wanted to come up out here and win the Test first and foremost. It was heartening to see such big individual performances. It was about we making the most of the bowling options we have and we want to have other options as well. We wanted to make sure he (Jayant) gets some overs. The highlight of the game was Ravindra Jadeja. There was a question whether to declare or not—it was a team decision, Jadeja’s decision to put them in and shows how selfless he is.”
Sri Lanka have every imaginable problem staring at them after a shambolic performance where they equalled their record of most wickets lost in a day’s play, in their third heaviest innings defeat in Tests. “We never thought it would finish by day three,” Karunaratne said. “The batters need to put up their hand and bat longer. When you are playing against India you have to capitalise on the starts. It was easy to bat on this track; once you get in, you have to score big. We were too defensive or too aggressive with the bat. We need to get a balance by rotating the strike, and that’s how you play a big innings.”