Ajay Jadeja brought a sense of urgency, energy and a sharp mind coupled with audacious hitting, fast running between wickets and safe hands to the Indian Cricket team. He was an important part of the set up between 1992 to 2000 and swung many a match in the favour of his team with his aggressive, yet competent style. Jadeja was always a pillar of confidence, and his ever smiling face and boyish looks made him an instant fan favorite.
He was handed a debut in 1992 in a washout game against Sri Lanka and rose to stardom fairly quickly. Jadeja even captained the national side briefly for 13 ODIs. One of the highlights of his career came in the 1996 World cup match against Pakistan where he hammered the bowling attack for 45 runs off just 25 balls which included 40 runs in two overs bowled by Pakistani great Waqar Younis. Apart from this, Jadeja also held the record for the highest partnership for the fourth and fifth wicket along with Mohammad Azharuddin. Another major achievement was getting 3 wickets for just 3 runs against England at Sharjah to win the match for India.
His appearances in Test matches though, were limited to just 15 because of his vulnerability to genuine pace and swing bowling. His career came to a screeching halt in 2000 because of a five year ban for match-fixing. Although this was contested, nothing came of it and he was forced to stay away from cricket. This opened doors for a host of other options, like acting. He has made appearances in Indian cinema as well as television shows and continues to be a cricket analyst and commentator to this day.
- India Vs South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban - Nov 13, 1992
- Last played:
- India Vs South Africa at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai (Bombay) - Feb 24, 2000
- India Vs Sri Lanka at Harrup Park, Mackay - Queensland - Feb 28, 1992
- Last played:
- India Vs Pakistan at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka - Jun 03, 2000