After IPL, Pune’s Kedar Jadhav takes guard for Indian teamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/after-ipl-punes-kedar-jadhav-takes-guard-for-indian-team/

After IPL, Pune’s Kedar Jadhav takes guard for Indian team

Ranji Trophy top scorer in 2013-14 picked up for Bangladesh tour; 29-yr-old says opportunity has come at the right time.

Kedar Jadhav returned from the IPL to find a thick cloud of worry over the Jadhav household in Kothrud. The family patriarch, Kedar’s father Mahadev, had an accident while returning from Mumbai in the wee hours of Sunday. He had gone to watch his son play at Wankhede. While returning, the car overturned and the senior Jadhav was severely bruised.

The accident was kept hidden from the 29-year-old Kedar, before his last game for Delhi Daredevils on Sunday. “I found out about the accident only when I returned on Tuesday. My father did not want me to think about anything other than the match,” he says.

A phone call at 2.30 pm on Wednesday changed the mood at the Jadhav household.

“My friends dragged me out of the house to watch a movie. I was in the cinema hall when my phone rang. The moment I saw who it was, I think I had a pretty good idea of what was to come,” he says.

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President of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Ajay Shirke was on the line and the first to inform Jadhav of his selection to the Indian cricket team for the Bangladesh tour in August.

“I had kind of expected the call. I had scored heavily in the Ranji Trophy and put in a strong showing in the IPL. I was always on the fringes of the national side, figuring in the probables list for the Champions Trophy and World T20. I am incredibly relieved to have made the cut this time,” he says.

The 29-year-old batsman was top-scorer in the 2013-14 season of Ranji Trophy with 1,223 runs in 17 innings at an average of above 80. He blasted six hundreds, scoring a gutsy 112 in the final against Karnataka. Propelled by Jadhav’s aggressive batting, Maharashtra managed to reach the Ranji Trophy finals after 23 years, eventually losing to Karnataka.

Jadhav knows the phone call is just the beginning. At 29, he says he needs to grab his chances if he wants to have a sustained run in the Indian blue. “I am very happy that I am in the squad. I think I have a good chance of making the eleven. Whatever role I am given in the side, I have to perform it successfully. I want to make a strong case for myself to be included in the ODI team for the England tour and performing well in Bangladesh can definitely help me do that,” he says, With a very healthy List A strike-rate of 104.91, Jadhav says the opportunity to don India colours has come at the right time. “I am currently in very good touch. I showed it in the IPL, getting quick runs for my side. I am not scared to hit the ball hard and over the in-field. I know my strengths and the white ball suits my style of batting. I am incredibly excited and almost in a trance. I don’t think I am going to snap out of it, till I actually walk out on the field,” he said.

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