Ravindra Jadeja

If you happen to have some idle time that you could put towards things we’ve been told (all along) are wise, then you’d come to realise that some are perhaps half-hearted truths.

They may even be blatant lies.

For instance- “the true meaning of life is to never hold back until one reaches his potential.”

Not correct.

At times, you have to pause and think whether what you’re running after is actually where your potential lies.

Here’s another.

Any person can lead. Most of us have an inherent inborn leader!”

Here again, focus on the detail, not what is being thrown around as free advice. Maybe here the truth is, while some have the gift of leadership that shines through immediately, some just don’t have in them to be bright leaders.

And in here, in this context around leadership, lies one of the more interesting developments of the ongoing IPL.

A development that’s perhaps much too random or sudden for some but, you’d think is the right way forward for a team that goes by the name of Chennai Super Kings.

April 30 was no ordinary date in the lifeline of the 2022 IPL. It was Rohit Sharma’s bday, a day wherein the under fire captain achieved the best possible gift; that of a Mumbai Indians victory for which he had little to contribute with the bat.

It was a day where finally, finally Virat Kohli got going and notched up his first fifty of 2022, a fluent 58 off 53 against Gujarat.

But it was also a day that had no dearth of drama; Ravindra Jadeja abdicating the CSK captaincy whilst handing back the reigns of leadership to that special man again: Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

To those who understood that Chennai were apparently going nowhere under Ravindra Jadeja accepted the move as it is. But for sure, there was a faction, the hardliners who think less and react a lot lot more that didn’t let Ravindra Jadeja be.

The Gujarat all-rounder was subjected to vicious memes that were if anything, insulting- not hilarious.

That’s when Ravindra Jadeja had truly unlearned the wisdom that’s often thrown around; “Any person can lead, there’s an in born leader in everyone!”

At the outset, the CSK move signalled a change in the guard of leadership. But at its very core, it may surely have had something to do with Ravindra Jadeja’s leadership.

Somewhere you ought to think that Jadeja would’ve had a conversation with himself, wherein he’d have likely said “look, our campaign is going nowhere. I’m clearly under pressure. The runs aren’t coming. The wicket column appears dry. Am even dropping catches. Then there’s the weight of expectation attached to leadership. Am an athlete, but maybe not an inborn leader.”

Add to that some truth telling and realisation that would’ve compelled him to say it out loud, “Mahi bhai is still the man who can do it. Perhaps do it the best than any of us. I still have a lot to give to the team. . The fans. Maybe, am better of as being a player. Just a player!”

And with that, Ravindra Jadeja would’ve exercised something that was well within his rights; that of politely and respectfully returning the captaincy to the very man who regarded him as being his natural successor: Dhoni.

In all fairness, yes, you’re compelled to think that a couple of games earlier and this decision wouldn’t have been too late in the day. Chennai’s campaign is largely over.

Some of the best they’ve achieved so far- and they’ve achieved very little- is to have kept their winning record against Bangalore intact. Moreover, they smashed Mumbai in a last over run chase just recently.

But hey, a man’s got to do what he can, do, at best.

Dhoni doesn’t bowl yorkers like Bumrah. Iyer doesn’t keep wickets. Pant doesn’t excel with the Doosra. None of us have seen Kohli bowl at Umran Malik’s pace.

Likewise, Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t excel at leadership. He does well as a late-order hitter and a natural wicket-taker.

He is not the rainman; he can’t shower his charisma on the team as the guy around whom the unit sticks akin to a magnet on the fridge.

It’s the same way how half of Twitter doesn’t apply brain cells before venting on just about anything.

Also similar to how leading news publications create content on just about anything that catches their fancy.

Where we must and certainly should criticise Jadeja is for a no-show this IPL. In 2021, he averaged 75- would you believe it- as he scored 227 runs. He was, lest it is forgotten, unbeaten on 9 occasions. In the edition before, he made 232 runs and fared rather well.

This time around, he’s only scored a touch over 100 runs and has taken just 5 wickets.

But where we could have regarded Ravindra Jadeja – but didn’t – was his ability to realise his weakness. And not just that, the desire to make amends immediately without wasting anyone’s time.

It’s easy to score runs and win games. Happens all the time. But it’s difficult and perhaps even rare to realise one’s shortcoming.

That Ravindra Jadeja realised his augurs well for his own self development. That the social media low lives, that can barely hang out anywhere else barring fantasy apps, still haven’t – are probably missing the point.

(feature image taken from- One Cricket app)