Recalling his association with Ashwin since 2014, he said: “We met through (India bowling coach) Eric Simmons. He was preparing for his England tour and very sweet of him to help me as I was just playing Ranji Trophy that time.”
“It’s a very proud moment for any cricketer. As you graduate from U-17, U-19 and Ranji Trophy, Test cricket is the topmost level. The first day in the dressing room helped.
“Just to see how he prepares and to get some inputs from him was quite special. We stayed in touch, we have a good rapport and a good friendship going on. He talks a lot of sense about bowling.
“He did not give me a lot of technical inputs but he told me to bowl different lines to different batsmen and to be consistent. He also told me a few things so that my length goes up,” he said about Ashwin’s support.
Asked about Ashwin’s deceptive drift, he said: “A lot of things fall into place for that drift to happen. Ash is bowling beautifully like a dream. You have to work on it. It does not come overnight. You have to put a lot of effort into it. A lot of technical things also go into it.”
Much before he impressed with his tidy bowling of 1/38 from 12 overs, Jayant’s effort with the bat — 35 — was commendable as he shared a crucial 64-run for the eighth wicket with Ashwin (58) to take India to 455 in the first innings.
He was also brilliant on the field and executed the runout of impressive youngster Haseeb Hameed with a brilliant throw from the deep.
A modest Jayant, who was originally included in the squad for the New Zealand series in place of an indisposed Ishant Sharma (chikungunya), said travelling with the team really helped.
“I’ve been travelling with the team for a while. Getting the icepacks and to know everybody really helps. I would be lying if I say that there were not any nerves. There were definitely. As I bowled the first over, it gradually subsided and I am pretty glad,” he said.
With an overall lead of 298, India were set for a big win against England.
“Tomorrow being the fourth day and fifth day to come, it’s definitely going to be a tough proposition. We strive ourselves to be a consistent. It’s going to be really tough as you see the variable bounce and the odd ball turning and keeping straight.”
Jayant also remembered his dismissal of AB de Villiers during a tour match while representing the Board President’s XI in October 2015.
“He would be the biggest player I have got out. But it all depends on situations. It drifted away and it went through the gate and he was playing a forward defence,” he said.