In the relatively short but entertaining history of T20 cricket, it has been repeatedly proven that teams with talented all-rounders are teams that perform the best. Chennai Super Kings' legacy in the Indian Premier League is phenomenal and talented all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has played a significant role in it.
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old showed once again that he is a complete cricketer when his 36 off 33 balls and bowling figures of 4/33 knocked the wind out of Rajasthan Royals. In CSK's second win of IPL 2014, Jadeja became the only cricketer to accomplish the feat of scoring over 25 and claiming four wickets twice in the tournament's history. Two years ago, he had scored 48 and claimed 5 for 16 against Deccan Chargers - a bowling figure which continues to be the best by a CSK player. (Highlights | Pics)
In a team dominated by big stars including India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina - who has now played 102 matches for CSK on the trot, Jadeja has made himself an invaluable asset. The player, who has four Man of the Match awards in IPL, was retained during the auctions earlier this year. (Enjoyed bowling more than batting, says Ravindra Jadeja after win over Rajasthan Royals)
While the two-time IPL winners retained five players from its original squad, the side seems to be gelling well with the 'newcomers'. True, off-field controversies - fixing scams, conflict of interest among several others, threatened to distract the players and was a possible reason why CSK lost their first match this season to Kings XI Punjab. Since then, however, the team has shown a lot of heart.
Dhoni and his men came back hard in their second match - beating Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs. On Wednesday, the team once again dominated proceedings against Rajasthan for most parts - winning the match by 7 runs. This may have been their smallest win against Rajasthan ever - fourth narrowest overall, but the signs are encouraging for Dhoni & Co. The overall success percentage of the team in IPL now stands at 60.89 - 61 wins and 39 losses - which is the best among all IPL teams. (IPL 7 schedule | Points Table)
Coach Stephen Fleming was slightly concerned at the start of the tournament due to the off-field controversy in the previous edition. As his side gets set to face defending champions Mumbai Indians this Friday, he would know that, with the likes of Jadeja firing on all cylinders, there is enough reason to justify the 'new-found' confidence. (Chennai Super Kings' unique record in IPL)