Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has claimed that he would rank Ravindra Jadeja as only the third best all-rounder in Test cricket, behind both Ben Stokes and Jason Holder. Jadeja, who has a batting average of 35.80 and a bowling average of 24.64 in the longest format, is currently the second-ranked all-rounder in the ICC Test Rankings, but Laxman believes the 32-year-old, currently, does not walk into the playing XI either as a batsman or a bowler.
While Jadeja’s batting stocks have been on the rise - averaging 47.42 since 2017 - his bowling has taken a hit of late, with his average for the calendar year reading an unimpressive 40.00.
"I think for me, it's Ben Stokes who is the No. 1 Test all-rounder in the world, No. 2 will be Jason Holder and Ravindra Jadeja will be No. 3 after those two. The way he batted in this Test match shows that he's got a lot of change in his temperament, in his mindset," Laxman said on the ESPNCricinfo Show Rundown.
"I think he is showing and displaying a lot more temperament to be successful in trying conditions against quality fast bowlers. But for me a great all-rounder is one who straightaway walks into the Playing XI, either as a batsman or a bowler. Now, Jadeja doesn't do that.
"Ben Stokes automatically walks into that England side just as a pure batsman and it's the other way around for Jason Holder. Even if Holder doesn't contribute with the bat, he walks into that West Indies side as a pure bowler.”
The former Indian batsman lauded the 32-year-old’s ability to chip in with valuable contributions, but opined that one simply cannot look beyond Stokes when it came to the tag of being the best all-rounder in the world.
"With Jadeja, you find him giving that valuable contribution, with the bat, with the ball and he's a livewire on the field, but Stokes for me is the No. 1 all-rounder in the world,” Laxman said.