Jadeja pulls off a stunner to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne
Ravindra Jadeja judged the ball well and put in a spectacular dive to his right to take a stunning catch just above the ground to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne
It has been just a few weeks since Ravindra Jadeja returned after recovering from knee surgery. The injury kept him away from action for nearly five months and now when he is back on the field, matching his intensity seems completely impossible. Whether saving a boundary or diving around to grab a difficult catch, there’s nothing that Jadeja can’t do. In fact, cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar stated on air if Jadeja can’t stop the ball from going away for a boundary then probably no one can.
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Jadeja’s agility was on display when India took on Australia in the first ODI on Friday at the iconic Wankhede Stadium. His acrobatic skills not only saved several runs for India, but his reflexes also handed Kuldeep Yadav his first wicket in the game.
The fourth delivery of the 23rd over was a short ball from Kuldeep around the leg stump. Marnus Labuschagne made room for himself as he looked to cut it away but could only manage to slice it in the air wide of backward point. Jadeja judged it well and put in a spectacular dive to his right to take a stunning catch just above the ground.
The commentators were in awe of Jadeja and so was the crowd that burst into celebration as Kuldeep dismissed Labuschagne pretty cheaply; for 15 off 22 deliveries.
Watch the video of Jadeja’s catch:
A couple of overs prior to pulling off the stunner, Jadeja provided a crucial breakthrough for India. The dynamic all-rounder took down in-form Mitchell Marsh who was toying with the Indian bowlers. Marsh, who was promoted as an opener in the Australian batting line-up, scored his 14th ODI half-century off 51 deliveries. He amplified his innings after reaching half-a-ton, smashing 28 runs in the next 15 deliveries. Marsh was en route to his 2nd ODI hundred but his journey was cut short by Jadeja.
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Earlier, India won the toss and opted to field first against Australia in the first game of the three-match ODI series. Stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya said India has done well batting first so far and it was time to challenge his team by chasing a target. The hosts included two spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja while Shubman Gill will open with Ishan Kishan.
Australia captain Steve Smith said he would have opted to bat first considering the heat. He informed that Alex Carey is sick and has gone back to the team hotel, making way for Josh Inglis in the playing XI.
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