In a surprising turn of events, Ravindra Jadeja lets a golden opportunity slip, evoking memories of MS Dhoni’s critical drop catch against Taylor during the 2019 World Cup semi-finals.
Take a trip down memory lane to the 2019 Cricket World Cup, where India crossed paths with New Zealand in a legendary yet ill-fated semi-final showdown. This epic encounter, akin to a blockbuster movie, unfolded over a marathon 28-hour and 24-minute spectacle, filled with breathtaking drama and eye-catching cricket.
As the dust settled, it was the Black Caps who emerged victorious, securing their place in the final, where they ultimately succumbed to England. The Indian team, chasing a target of 240, faced a rocky start, stumbling to 5/3, but they managed to rebuild, only to falter again at 92/6. It was the partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and the indomitable MS Dhoni that breathed life back into the Indian challenge.
With India at 203/5, requiring 37 runs from 18 balls, Lady Luck decided to play her hand. Aside from the rain interruptions, India had to grapple with their share of misfortune. Jadeja, who appeared to be in sublime batting form, unexpectedly misjudged a slow delivery from Trent Boult and departed after a valiant 77 off 59 balls. Yet, Indian fans clung to hope with Dhoni, the match-winner of 2011, still at the crease.
In the 49th over, Dhoni unleashed a mighty six off Lockie Ferguson over point, narrowing the equation to 25 runs off 11 balls. This boundary had fans believing that the tables might turn, considering Dhoni’s prior cautious approach. However, in a bid to retain the strike, Dhoni attempted a desperate double just two deliveries later, only to fall short at the wicketkeeper’s end by a mere inch, courtesy of a spectacular direct hit by Martin Guptill. It was this moment that sealed the match in New Zealand’s favor, who eventually triumphed by 18 runs.
Dhoni’s costly blunder during the first innings added to India’s woes. When Ross Taylor was a mere 22 runs into his innings, Dhoni let a delivery edge by the Kiwi batsman slip through his grasp. Taylor went on to amass 74 crucial runs, propelling New Zealand to a total of 239/8. In contrast, India found themselves bowled out for 221 in 49.3 overs during their chase.
Fast forward to the 2023 World Cup match against New Zealand in Dharamshala, and fans were once again reminded of Dhoni’s fallibility. In the 11th over, Ravindra Jadeja missed a straightforward chance off Rachin Ravindra, who was at 12 runs.
Ravindra sent a delivery from Mohammed Shami straight to Jadeja at backward point, presenting an easy knee-high catch. However, in an uncommon twist of fate, Jadeja, known for his fielding prowess, let the opportunity slip through his fingers. Ravindra, subsequently, managed to score 75 runs off 87 balls before losing his wicket to Mohammed Shami in the 34th over.