Ravindra Jadeja produced a moment of magic on Day 2 of the second Test on Sunday as he took a stunning catch to dismiss Neil Wagner in New Zealand’s first innings at the Hagley Oval Stadium.
Mohammed Shami broke the 51-run 9th-wicket partnership between Wagner and Kyle Jamieson but it was Jadeja who got the credit for the dismissal more than the bowler.
Shami bowled a bouncer from around the stumps to Wagner, who pulled it in the air towards deep square-leg. Jadeja, who was stationed there but standing well inside the boundary line, leapt in the air and put his left hand out and fortunately for him, the ball stuck as he came tumbling down but managed to hold on to the catch.
Wagner was stunned by what he saw as Jadeja himself looked at the replay of the catch on the big screen, marvelling at his own superhuman effort.
India vs New Zealand, 2nd Test Day 2: Live Score and Updates
“I knew he would play a shot there. I was waiting at fine leg but I didn’t know that the ball would come at double pace. I just put my hands there and it stuck,” Jadeja said at the tea break.
Commentators on air called it the best catch of the year so far and also labelled Jadeja as the best fielder in world cricket at the moment.
Fans were also in awe of the outstanding effort from the all-rounder.
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This was the second catch that Jadeja took in the match after his diving effort to dismiss BJ Watling off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling. That catch he took at backward point.
India bowled out New Zealand for 235 in 73.1 overs in the second session on the second day and took a crucial first-innings lead of 7 runs.
Fast bowlers Bumrah, Shami and Umesh Yadav struck early in the first session to reduce the Black Caps to 142 for 5 at Lunch after they resumed at their overnight score of 63 for no loss.
Two more wickets fell early in the second session before a rearguard action from Jamieson and Wagner saw the Kiwis reduce the deficit.
The duo frustrated the visitors with their 9th-wicket stand. Jamieson made 49 while Wagner contributed with 21 crucial runs but their counter-attacking partnership was cut short by the screamer from Jadeja.
Shami (4 for 81) and Bumrah (3 for 62) shared 7 wickets between themselves while Ravindra Jadeja struck twice and Umesh Yadav bagged one for himself as India fought their way back in the match in Christchurch on the back of some fine seam bowling from the pacers. Tea was taken immediately after New Zealand’s innings folded.