Ravindra Jadeja is pretty annoying which almost certainly means he’s good at cricket

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Ravindra Jadeja (via YouTube)

There are two main reasons why cricketers are annoying. (1) They play for your team and they aren’t very good. (2) They play for the opposition and they are very good.

The first is self-evident. The second is rather more nuanced and deserves a little bit of elaboration. So let’s very quickly do that.

To be fully annoying, an opposition cricketer must be not just effective, but more effective than you think they deserve to be. To really put the top hat on it, they should then act like they’re even better than that.

Ravindra Jadeja meets these requirements. He is pretty annoying and we are very much relieved whenever India decide to not pick him. That is a compliment, which is very unfortunate because of course we don’t really want to pay him compliments.

First of all, Jadeja bowls like he has only just started bowling and isn’t really a bowler and doesn’t much care how things go because he’s not a bowler so do what you like, it doesn’t matter to him, he’s not a bowler. Employing this method, he is easing his way towards 200 Test wickets at an average in the low 20s.

That’s an annoyingly good record, but after learning to appreciate the subtleties of his bowling approach and slowly coming to recognise his qualities, you’ll look at it and probably still think it’s annoying and undeserved.

But Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t think that. Ravindra Jadeja generally maintains an air of having completely mastered cricket. Ravindra Jadeja celebrates a fifty – a fifty – with a twirly sword celebration.

Ravindra Jadeja sword celebration (via BBC)

That is disproportionate. (It is also entertaining and he should absolutely carry on doing it.)

Ravindra Jadeja swans through Test cricket like he belongs there. And he does. Which is annoying.


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  1. He’s 29 so if cheftirement trends continue, will be retiring just 4 years.

    All this early retirement talk for men in their early 30s is making me feel old. Worse, it is making me feel old and very unretired. It would be quite good if the national selectors could just tell me to retire, but I can’t find any selectors in my field of work and my understanding is one is just expected to retire oneself. This also seems to require fairly substantial dollops of wonga, but preferably not borrowed at extortionate interest rates, instead you have to earn it first. It all seems quite hard work.

    On plus side, Joe Denly is being talked up for a first cap aged 32. Chris Rogers only earned his second cap aged 35. I cite these figures not just so that Ravi Jadeja can annoy your highness for longer. Nor just to help myself feel a wee bit better – if people of that age are still playing international sport and therefore might, at a stretch, be described as “moderately sprightly” or “still largely physically functioning”, then on a relative basis we can not yet have reached the depths of decrepitude. But it’s also so I can cling to the unrealistic hope of uncheftirement if the next lambing season proves too boring for the man. I fear it won’t, though. Cute little buggers aren’t they, lambs? Such a shame he hadn’t set himself the new objective of becoming Essex’s premier slug slime farmer instead, we might have tempted him back in a matter of hours…

  2. It’s true. I used to convince myself that I found Virat Kohli annoying because he was a sledgy bastard who was too fond of the short formats of the game and not as good as people said about Test cricket. Now I’m finding that he’s very respectful (off the field), obviously cares a hell of a lot about Test cricket, and is obviously damn good at it. So what do I hate him for now, given that he’s still scoring all those runs? Bah.

    That said, at the moment I’m inclined to go with whatever Jos Buttler says, as Jos Buttler is obviously the next coming of England’s cricket messiah. 4/10 it is.

    1. His Majesty’s previous piece on cricketing slappable faces definitely included Broad and rightly so. I think this just also confirms slapping is also a mark of respect, similar to pissing on a neighbour’s hubcaps when they get a promotion and you don’t.

  3. To be fully annoying, an opposition cricketer must be not just effective, but more effective than you think they deserve to be. To really put the top hat on it, they should then act like they’re even better than that.

    There are countably many rational numbers, but uncountably many real numbers. Both these infinities are big, but one is a whole lot bigger than the other.

    What you have defined above is Aleph Null annoying. But if the player so defined is also Australian, it makes it Aleph One annoying.

    Whether any player can exist between these two classes of annoying is an open question, known in cricket circles as The Continual Scum Hypothesis.

    1. Exactly, Balladeer. And wouldn’t it be fitting if, now that he’s got his hundred out of the way, Root let him relive past glories by deciding when England should declare.

  4. Dewey-eyed I was.

    Cook’s hundred, not Jadeja’s 50/celebration, you understand.

    Daisy’s always found Jadeja irritating too – something she’s less prone to than most of us. So I suspect there’s summat in it.

    1. That’s lambing season, he’ll be up to his neck (*) in other things by then.

      (*) If he’s not doing it right, that is.

  5. I see potential in Sam Curran to be England’s Ravi Jadeja. He’s had a great start in this series.

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