How Jadeja’s heroics outclassed Mohit’s plans in a game of fine margins


Mohit Sharma, the comeback King with one of the most inspiring stories in the IPL was writing his own script for a picture-perfect ending. The stage was set for his redemption story. He almost did the job with 4 perfect yorkers. Gujarat Titans were on course for their consecutive title. On the other side, Shane Warne’s Rockstar, Ravindra Jadeja was ready to rock the world with his heroics.  

The sport of cricket is not over until the final ball is bowled. Ecstasy can turn into agony within a few moments. The margin of error is almost negligible in a tournament like the IPL. 

The 74-match tournament had come down to the final 2 balls. The final of the TATA IPL 2023 ebbed and flowed from one team to another. 

The Ebbs and Flows

The match was in the balance at the start of the second innings. With yet another solid opening partnership put CSK in front. With 2 quick wickets by Noor Ahmed, GT stormed back. Then Rahane attacked the pacers and quickly shifted momentum towards Chennai. With 50 needed off 3 overs, Dube tore down Rashid hitting him 2 sixes in an over. Rayadu smashed Mohit Sharma and the game was completely shifted towards CSK. 22 were needed off 14 courtesy of Rayadu’s assault. But the Purple cap Holder of the tournament, Mohammad Shami bowled an excellent second last over giving away just 8 runs.

13 runs were needed off the last over. Mohit Sharma had the challenge of closing out the match. But he was up against Ravindra Jadeja, the best death batter in recent years. The pressure was paramount. But Mohit had his plans set. He bowled 4 accurate yorkers on 4 consecutive deliveries. He did not let the batters get underneath the ball and free their arms. Now 10 runs were needed off 2 balls. Another boundary less ball and GT would have carved their name on the trophy. But destiny had other plans. So did Jadeja.

The toughest art in Cricket

Bowling yorkers is the most difficult job in world cricket. It is a high-risk high-reward strategy and a high variance delivery. You err on length on either side and you could travel the distance. The margin of error is very less. Especially against the power hitters with big bats and small grounds where even mishit easily clear the boundary. Pressure makes people do funny things. Jadeja remained deep in the crease knowing what was coming his way. Mohit did not miss the mark by much. Not many batters could have dug that ball for a six in the stands. Just six inches further and Jadeja could not have got underneath the ball. The left hander cleared his front leg and smashed the ball into the stands for a monstrous six. 

The pressure was not on Mohit rather than Jadeja. Hardik had a brief chat with Mohit. Even Ashish Nehra had sent Jayant Yadav with a message. From what the visuals suggested, Hardik Pandya advised Mohit to bowl on the leg stump to make Jadeja hit towards the longer boundary in the midwicket region. In trying to overcompensate his previous delivery, Mohit Sharma bowled a full toss. Ravindra Jadeja, the man of big occasions flicked the full toss on the pads beating the short fine leg for a boundary. More than Mohit’s mistakes, it was Jadeja’s brilliance that bought CSK back from the dead. Mohit did very little wrong in the last over. Eventually, the small margins dictated the outcome of the match in the end. 

Jadeja always likes the center stage and makes things happen. He had the ‘belief’ that he could get the job done for his side. Jadeja rose from the shadows of MS Dhoni and delivered a fifth title for his captain. The captain embraced his deputy and lifted him. Jadeja was quite vocal during the tournament that he does not get much credit from his fans. But the fact remains that he will always be the Most Valuable Player for whichever side he plays. This is a fairy tale ending for Jadeja after a tough phase in the last 18 months due to injury and Captaincy Saga. Jadeja is making a habit of finishing close games for his side. It is safe to say that the baton has been passed to the Rockstar and he is nailing his job to perfection. 

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