New Delhi: Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a fine performance in Hyderabad by claiming 6 for 66 as India thrashed Australia by an innings and 135 runs in the second Test. Another tiding which will gladden his heart is that the legendary Sunil Gavaskar asserted on air while doing commentary that the delivery which bowled Michael Clarke on Tuesday is the "ball of the century".
In the 46th over of Australia's second innings, Jadeja produced a delivery which landed on a good length on middle stump and curved into the right-handed Clarke. The Australian captain prodded forward but wasn't to pitch of the ball which spun past his bat and uprooted the off stump. The Indian team was jubilant at Jadeja having dismissed the opposition's best batsman, while Clarke looked dazed at being duped by such an outstanding delivery.
In the commentary box, Gavaskar, Harsha Bhogle and Matthew Hayden waxed lyrical about the delivery, with Gavaskar going to the extent of calling it the "ball of the century". "It seems to be a beauty and I won't mind it saying that it is the greatest ball in history," mused the former Indian opener.
Bhogle was more objective and said: "I don't know whether it's a ball of the century but surely it is the ball of the many years in the past." Hayden appreciated the delivery but remained discreet in his remarks. He said that the ball was a ripper and would have probably dismissed any batsman in the world.
There's no denying the fact that Jadeje indeed produced a peach of a delivery and it would rank as one of the finest balls of the series, if not the year. But claiming that it is the best delivery bowled since January 1, 2001?
Recently, the delivery which Monty Panesar bowled Sachin Tendulkar with in the first innings of the Mumbai Test in November was a far better delivery. Going further back - and gauging by what critics have dissected and what dominates chat-room discussions and YouTube - the two deliveries from Muttiah Muralitharan to bowl and India's Sadagoppan Ramesh in his final Test innings, in Colombo in 2001 and England's Mark Butcher at Edgbaston in 2002 rank far higher than anything bowled this century.
Has cricket commentary become synonymous with hyperbole?
What do you think about Sunil Gavaskar's comment?