Cricket contests that go down to the last over or the last ball are not only exciting, but they are also remembered for a long time.
As 20-20 matches are increasing, the number of thrilling matches till the last moment is also increasing. ODI and Test cricket are also becoming interesting in terms of thrill and outcome of the match.
No matter how talented a player is, it is not necessary that he should also be a great finisher. No matter how strong a batsman is, it is not necessary that he can score more than 15 runs in the last over.Similarly, every bowler is also not such that he can save eight runs in the last over.
People have not forgotten the six that was hit on the last ball of Chetan Sharma in Sharjah. He also played many excellent innings in Test matches.
Sachin Tendulkar has also played many roles including finisher for Indian cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Lance Klusener, Michael Bevan, Michael Hussey, Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers have been among those players who have won matches for the team with excellent batting.
Another player included in the list of these players showed his mettle in the IPL final. The 2023 IPL final is being touted as one of the most exciting finals in the history of the tournament.
Chennai had to score 13 runs in the last over to win and only three runs were scored in the first four balls. 10 runs were to be scored from the last two balls.
Ravindra Jadeja first hit a six and then a four to win the trophy for his team in an unbelievable way.
By the way, this was not the first time that Ravindra Jadeja played the role of finisher for his team.
Be it the IPL team or the Indian team, Jadeja has won many matches with his performance. He plays in all three formats and the team has a lot of expectations from him.
After Dhoni's retirement, he is being seen as the best finisher in the current Indian team.
The first glimpses of Jadeja's ability to finish matches with his bat in international matches came in 2013–2014.
In the 2013 Champions Trophy final at Edgbaston, Jadeja hit an unbeaten 33 off 25 balls in a low-scoring match, taking two wickets in the bowling. He was adjudged man of the match for this all-round game.
In the 2014 match against New Zealand in Auckland, Ravindra Jadeja walked out to bat after six wickets down. The team was chasing a mammoth total of 316 runs.
Jadeja along with Ashwin and other bowlers kept India in contention. The team needed 18 runs in the last over to win and Jadeja scored 17 runs to tie the match.
He had also taken two wickets in the bowling before scoring an unbeaten 66 with the bat.
In the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, he led the Indian team to victory against New Zealand.
Chasing 240, the team had lost six wickets to reach 92 when Jadeja came out to bat.
He scored 77 runs in 59 balls while batting aggressively in adverse conditions. India lost this match by just 18 runs
Cricket expert Anand Venkataraman says, “Jadeja has played some of the best innings in ODI cricket at grounds around the world.
If the team needs more than 80 runs in the last 10 overs, he can be the most reliable batsman of the team. He has proved it in some innings in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals and Champions Trophy.
About Jadeja's bowling, Anand Venkataraman says, “Ravindra Jadeja has usually been performing brilliantly with the balls. He is a good bowler in ODIs.
He has proved to be a lethal bowler not only at home but also on foreign pitches. However, to be a reliable finisher, he will need to do even better with the bat.
Will Ravindra Jadeja play the role of Yuvraj Singh for the Indian team in the upcoming World Cup or will he prove to be a finisher like MS Dhoni?
In response to this question, Anand Venkataraman says, “There are a lot of expectations from Jadeja in the upcoming World Cup. He can play a great role on the home ground. But at this point of time, putting as much hope as Yuvraj Singh would be like putting pressure on Jadeja.
Referring to Jadeja's career, Anand Venkataraman says, “He is yet to score a century in ODI cricket. Haven't been able to score a half century in T20 cricket so far. Stats don't tell the whole story, but they do give an idea of a player's potential."
However, there have been many players in the world of cricket who have given their best performance after the age of 30.
Jadeja is 34 years old and is all set to play his third World Cup this year.
This could be his last World Cup. In such a situation, Jadeja will make every effort to live up to the expectations during the first World Test Championship final and then the World Cup.