Ravindra Jadeja has improved by leaps and bounds as an all-rounder in test cricket over the last half a decade.
Remember, there was a time when Ravichandran Ashwin used to bat ahead of Ravindra Jadeja in the batting order. Ashwin was not only the more accomplished spinner but used to contribute more with the bat, like he did on India’s second-last tour of West Indies when multiple centuries came off his blade.
Ravindra Jadeja although always possessed the natural ability to bat, he lacked the temperament. It was a typical Jadeja innings when he came out to swing his willow wildly.
He did connect a couple of times and when it came off, it looked good as the ball flew over the ropes. However, that method was far from consistent and Jadeja made it a habit of throwing his wicket away.
Come 2016, there was a marked improvement in Ravi Jadeja’s batting. The change came when he realised that India could afford to pick just one spinner in overseas test matches more often than not, especially in countries like South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.
In order to clinch that spot ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, he had to work on his batting, and he did exactly that.
From the beginning of 2016, Jadeja averages 48.28 with the bat while his bowling average is also brilliant at 24.97. With the difference of 21.32 between his batting and bowling average, Ravindra Jadeja has emerged as the best all-rounder in the world since 2016.
Ben Stokes is another all-rounder who has come a long way since his debut. Stokes averages 42.34 with the bat from 2016 onwards and has an average of 27.59 with the ball. With a difference of 14.75 between his batting and bowling averages, he is second to Ravindra Jadeja on the list of best all-rounders since 2016.
Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, with a batting average of 38.48 and a bowling average of 26.03, has a difference of 12.45 between his batting and bowling average and has been the third most successful all-rounder in world cricket since 2016.
West Indies’ red-ball skipper Jason Holder is also the perfect marriage of a batting and bowling all-rounder. His average with the bat is 33.41 while that with the ball is 25.60 – a difference of 7.74 between the two.
Vernon Philander, who retired from international cricket last year, was more of a bowling all-rounder with a batting average of 23.42 and a bowling average of 22.62, but scored some crucial runs lower down the order.