IPL 2021: PBKS vs CSK Play of the Day – Strictly sensational fielding from Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja showed exactly why he continues to be among the best fielders in world cricket with two glorious dismissals
Punjab Kings were asked to bat first by MS Dhoni who had won the toss. Dhoni saw how the Wankhede wicket behaved last night in the game between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals and knew there was an opportunity in the taking.
That opportunity arrived early when Deepak Chahar got the new ball to sing as well as swing to his tunes. Mayank Agarwal completely failed to judge the trajectory of his delivery and got his bat down the wrong line. And bam! went his stumps behind!
Chris Gayle arrived at the crease and Punjab Kings suffered another major scare as Ruturaj Gaikwad completely fumbled Gayle's shot that was cut through the field.
Chennai Super Kings would have their chance at completely dismantling the Punjab Kings top order once again, and this time arrived, in the form of Ravindra Jadeja's moments of absolute brilliance in the field.
An inch-perfect run out to dismiss KL Rahul
Deepak Chahar's vicious delivery pitched outside leg takes a massive swing on its way and ends up striking the pad of the Universe Boss. As Chahar and a few of the fielders shouted half-hearted appeals Gayle and Rahul decided to take a run after a moment's hesitation.
And a moment's hesitation felt like an eternity to Ravindra Jadeja standing in short cover who got to the ball in a matter of seconds. The fineness of the angle didn't seem to bother him and with just one stump to aim for, Jadeja sized himself up, charged his left arm to pick up the ball and let the it go like an A320 jet punching high in the skies.
Few fielders in the world would've been able to generate enough power and accuracy into that throw and if we complied a list right now, Ravindra Jadeja's name would be at the summit.
Quite like routine, the ball hit the stumps, the bails were off, the LED lights were out, CSK players started celebrating the wicket without even needing confirmation and Rahul's dejected face became the confirmation.
The Punjab Kings skipper who had made a splendid 91 in the previous game was now out thanks to a magical piece of fielding. But Jadeja wasn't done for the night.
A superb catch to send Chris Gayle back to the pavilion
It was Deepak Chahar, once again. Bowling his third over in the Powerplay, Chahar brought the knuckle-ball variation to action. Keeping the ball around the line of off-stump, Chahar got The Universe Boss to play the early drive which only ended up being scooped into the air.
It almost seemed like an insurmountable distance between the travelling ball and Jadeja standing at short cover. But no distance is too big when you have got lightning shoes like him.
He swooped to his right, threw his body into a full-length dive and plucked the ball mid-air as safely as a mother's lullaby, and landed on the ground, making the turf seem like velvet. "He owns that area," said Harsha Bhogle while commentating and we do not have a reason to argue otherwise.
By the end, what seemed the most ridiculous about the catch was how easy Ravindra Jadeja made it look.
Few people in the world can pull off such breathtaking pieces of fielding and fewer still can make it count when the side needs it the most. And for that reason, Jadeja's exquisite fielding to dismiss KL Rahul and Chris Gayle is our Play of the Day.