Yash Mittal ∙ Updated: May 30 2023, 11:52 PM | 3 Min Read

Jadeja's Fairytale Redemption A Masterclass In How To Become A Folk Hero

image-li9oaucmDhoni lifts Jadeja after the latter seals a 5th IPL title for CSK [Image- IPLT20]

It's amazing how things can change in a matter of a few seconds. Don't believe me? Ask Ravindra Jadeja!

Jadeja was on 5 off 4 deliveries, and Mohit Sharma had just nailed one yorker after yorker to make the task more arduous for CSK.

With 10 needed off the last 2 deliveries, and all eyes were on Jadeja; the same Jadeja whose dismissals have been cheered by his own fans throughout the season; the same Jadeja who has been grumpy all season because of not getting the love and respect he thinks he deserves; the same Jadeja who had struggled with the bag throughout the season; the same Jadeja who has had a history of bottling run-chases.

To be fair to CSK fans, they were cheering every time Jadeja got dismissed this season had nothing to do with the all-rounder; it was more to do with their anticipation of watching MS Dhoni wield his bat for one final time this season.

But, if you look from Jadeja's point of view, his disappointment was quite understandable too. From being dumped as captain last season to being cheered after getting dismissed this time around, the Saurashtra cricketer had reached a boiling point.

So, on Monday night, when Jadeja took a strike to face the penultimate delivery from Mohit Sharma, it was a golden opportunity for him to set the record straight.

With each and every CSK fan, including his skipper MSD, praying for him to wield his bat, this was an opportunity of a lifetime for Jadeja to carve a unique identity for himself.

Jadeja is deep in his crease, anticipating another yorker. Mohit errs in his execution, and Jadeja carves it over his head for a six.

But, the job is yet not done. At this point, the camera points to MSD, who is in a deep meditative state. When Dhoni is praying, you know how serious it is.

But as Jadeja gets ready to take guard, his mind wanders to all those previous heartbreaks that he has endured during a run-chase.

His mind goes back to the 2019 WC semi-final where he played out of his skin but couldn't get India past the finishing line; his mind wanders to each and every one of those moments from the past where he was trolled, ridiculed and criticized for not finishing off the job.

As Mohit runs in, Jadeja knows this is his opportunity; this is his moment to exorcise his demons and win over his critics. He looks up, Mohit again errs in his line, his eyes light up, and he just guides the leg-side delivery on its way.

The moment he did that, he took off in absolute delight with his bat held high, like someone who had just been relieved of millions of tons of weight on his shoulders; like someone who had just defied all his detractors to become a folk hero.

And as cameras panned on Dhoni, he gave an expression of a parent, whose years of investment in his kid had finally paid off, and when he finally lifted Jadeja on his shoulders, it felt like a chapter of Indian cricket which started with Dhoni's relentless backing of the former in 2009, had finally come to a fairytale conclusion.

As for his wife, Rivaba, the genuine satisfaction in her eyes, when she looked at her husband after the win, pretty much summed up what Jadeja may have gone through all this while. A fitting example of how to exorcise your demons, you will not find.