Indian cricket all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has topped the ICC bowlers’ rankings in ODIs, sharing the spot with West Indies spinner Sunil Narine. He’s the first Indian to do so after Anil Kumble, who had managed the feat in 1996. Two other Indian bowlers, Kapil Dev and Maninder Singh, have also secured this position in the past.
Jadeja has risen to the top because of his excellent performance this year. He has so far taken 38 wickets at a bowling average of 18.86 in 22 ODI matches this year. He is also the leading ODI wicket-taker this year. Apart from this, he’s also had a great season with the bat, scoring a total of 382 runs with an average of 47.75.
Jadeja first broke into the side in 2009 on the basis of his performance in domestic cricket. Despite being an effective spinner, he was initially dismissed as a bits and pieces cricketer who would never survive international cricket for long. To compound matters, his batting never really took off and he was later dropped. He made a comeback to the ODI squad in 2011 on the strength of his performance in the IPL that season. In 2012, he was bought by Chennai Super Kings from Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the IPL. Jadeja is now also a regular fixture in Test matches. He got a call up for the Test squad in 2012 after his performances in the Ranji Trophy matches. He has scored three triple-centuries in Ranji Trophy, two of them in the 2012-13 season, the most by any Indian cricketer. His performances since then in all formats have been stellar. During the India-Australia Test series at home, he dismissed Michael Clarke five out of six times. His meteoric rise has coincided with that of India’s.
The all-rounder hails from a humble family in Jamnagar, Gujarat. His father used to work as a watchman for a private security agency and his sister as a nurse in a local hospital in Gujarat. Since his good fortune, Jadeja has bought an Audi A4, a Hayabusa and—strangely enough—a horse.