India’s commanding 70-run win over long-time nemesis knockout stage New Zealand in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-final at Wankhede on November 15 secured their spot in the final. Besides India’s bowling and batting prowess, their exceptional fielding contributed significantly to overcoming a disciplined New Zealand side. In the ongoing ODI World Cup, the tradition of awarding the ‘Best Fielder’ continued, with several contenders emerging from India’s semi-final win.
Ravindra Jadeja, the all-rounder, received the Best Fielder award in a jovial dressing room ceremony from Suryakumar Yadav following India’s victory. The Indian Cricket Team’s official Instagram handle shared a video, showcasing Jadeja getting the award after securing three crucial catches against the Kiwis in Mumbai. T Dilip, the fielding coach, initially named Mohammed Siraj, KL Rahul, and Jadeja as potential medal winners, with Jadeja ultimately emerging as the winner. The video garnered over 700,000 likes in less than two hours of it being shared.
“We decided to keep things simple with our medal 🏅 ceremony this time around 👌
But the finishing touches were handed over by last time’s winner Surya Kumar Yadav 😎,” read the caption in the post.
Presenting the medal, Suryakumar Yadav paid homage to Jadeja’s on-field prowess with a Bollywood-inspired tribute: “Cheetah ki chaal, baaj ki najar aur Royal Navghan ki fielding se koi nahi bach sakta” (Nobody can escape the speed of a cheetah, vision of a hawk, and Royal Navghan’s fielding).
Jadeja’s catches included the pivotal dismissal of Daryl Mitchell in the 46th over, halting the Kiwi batter’s charge. Mitchell departed after a clinical 134 off 119 balls, featuring nine boundaries and seven sixes. He further contributed with Glenn Phillips’ dismissal, denying him a half-century with a brilliant catching effort off Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery. Later, he secured Mark Chapman’s catch at deep backward square leg as Kuldeep Yadav struck a crucial blow to the Kiwis’ pursuit of 398 runs.
Jadeja’s, along with others’, excellent fielding efforts played a pivotal role as India clinched a 70-run victory, propelling them into their fourth ODI World Cup final. Rohit Sharma’s squad aim to secure India’s third ODI World Cup title and the second on home turf.