Ravindra Jadeja joins Anil Kumble in major record after match-winning performance in Rajkot Test

In what unfolded as a spectacular display of cricket, the Indian cricket team, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, clinched a phenomenal 434-run victory against England in the ongoing Test series, seizing the day in the third match at Rajkot on Sunday, February 18. Proving his prowess with both bat and ball, Ravindra Jadeja stood out in a match studded with remarkable performances, most notably Yashasvi Jaiswal’s dominant innings, as England succumbed for a mere 122 runs on the fourth day with a daunting 557-run target looming ahead.

Jaiswal’s crusher of an innings, which saw him racking up his second double-century and third Test century, completely overwhelmed the English bowlers during the initial sessions of the day. However, as significant as his milestone was for setting up India’s dominant position, it was Jadeja’s post-tea bowling spell that brought the match to a decisive conclusion. His five-wicket haul left England staggering, solidifying Jadeja’s claim to the Player of the Match award, courtesy of his earlier century and a match tally of seven wickets.

In the course of this match, Jadeja notched a personal milestone by claiming his 200th Test wicket on home ground the previous day. This achievement saw him draw level with the legendary Indian spinner Anil Kumble for the most Player of the Match awards in Tests held in India. The Rajkot Test marked Jadeja’s ninth award, a fitting testament to his consistent and game-changing performances.

It’s worth noting that Jadeja’s Test career has seen him receive 10 Player of the Match honors, solidifying his position as one of India’s cricketing stalwarts. Of those, nine were earned on Indian pitches, accounting for his 206 wickets across 42 Test matches on home soil. This illustrious record now sees him sharing space with Anil Kumble, who also had nine of his 10 Player of the Match awards in Tests won in India.

The batting legends Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar follow closely in this unique record with eight such awards each in home Tests, while the current spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged six in his 58 Test matches.

These milestones come in the backdrop of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25, wherein India’s record-breaking win has propelled them past Australia in the points table. This monumental victory is a testament to the team’s resilience and masterful skill—not only did they defeat a strong English side, but they did so in a manner that left fans and opponents alike in awe.

While the English camp has been hit hard by this loss, their captain Ben Stokes has expressed confidence in their ability to bounce back in the series. In the face of such a defeat, it is resilience and strategy that will determine England’s next steps.

As for Rohit Sharma’s leadership, he disclosed the compelling direction he gave to his bowlers when England’s Ben Duckett was at the peak of his batting prowess during the first innings.

Jadeja’s achievement places him in the company of Indian cricketers who have ten Player of the Match awards in Tests. This elite club includes himself, Kohli, and Kumble, with only Rahul Dravid (11) and Sachin Tendulkar (14) ahead. These statistics not only underscore Jadeja’s contribution to Indian cricket but also affirm his legacy as a cricketer of exceptional calibre and impact.

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