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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

There have been times when I felt I don’t need to work: Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja, who last played a Test for India in August 2014, finds himself in the mix again.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Rajkot |
Updated: October 20, 2015 9:22:09 am
Ravindra Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja India, India Ravindra Jadeja, Jadeja India selection, India squad, India Squad South Africa, Cricket News, Cricket Ravindra Jadeja failed to make the ODI team but is back in the Test squad. (Source: Express File)

Fourteen months after he was dropped from the Test squad, allrounder Ravindra Jadeja makes a comeback. Jadeja last played a Test against England in Manchester. That was in August 2014. In the intervening period India played nine Tests, including trips to Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. A combination of spinners were tried, as also a few batters, but Jadeja did not fit into the scheme of things. And, yet, 24 wickets in 2 Ranji matches changed all that. Suddenly, the Saurashtra cricketer finds himself in the mix and with South Africa’s known vulnerability against spin, Jadeja may have a big role to play. Excerpts from an interview:

Were you expecting to make a comeback?

Honestly, I was thinking about it (recall) after the two Ranji games in which I finished with 24 wickets. Even if my name would have not have cropped up, I would still have continued playing with the same vigour in the domestic circuit.

Did you have any plans before the season began?

My only aim was to return to the Indian side. I consider myself lucky as the domestic season started after I was dropped. As we had three home games at the start of the season, we had planned to prepare pitches according to our strength.

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How difficult was it to be out of the reckoning?

Nobody wants to be away from the team… what is concerning is the negative talk surrounding it. This phase has really helped me a lot. Mujhe bahut badi seekh mili hain (I have learnt an important lesson). Thankfully, I had the Ranji season to look forward to, and it has really helped me.

You have been part of the Indian team for some time now. What happened? Where did things go wrong for you?

The more you play, the more people’s expectation increases. I am not the guy who will think what others are thinking about you. Instead, I am the one who will always thinks about improving my game.

Do you think that the way you bowl doesn’t leave much room for variations?

Whatever wickets I have taken so far, it’s because my bowling has been the same. I am the sort of a bowler who keeps things simple. It is not that in Test matches I do things differently. Sab time-time ki baat hain. I was bowling the same when I was the No.1 bowler in ODIs, and even today I am bowling the same. A man remains the same, only his time changes.

Did you make an assessment, or seek someone’s help?

I just go by my gut feeling. I am not the guy who will go and talk for the sake of talking. If I go to someone and if he asks me to try something, and if it doesn’t click then who will take the blame. So let me take the blame, rather than me blaming others.

Do you think it’s the right time to make a comeback, considering we have a home series?

Well, I get another chance to prove myself…that’s how I see it. I will be playing a home series after almost 18 months. For me, it’s a positive thing and hopefully if we get a turning track, I will give my best shot.

Your assessment of India’s current spin attack?

We have three different bowlers, with distinct styles. We certainly have a better spin attack than the Proteas. Playing at home, will give us a distinct edge. I feel we should go with our strength: which is spin bowling and make pitches accordingly.

You recently undertook nocturnal visits to a temple. What was that all about?

There is a temple in Kutch called the Kul-devta. It is big in our community. Every year, during Navratri, people visit the shrine. Since I was free, I decided to make the trip. We hired a truck from where we loaded food, water and clothes and just walked. The first few days were tough because people came to know about it and they accompanied us. So we decided to walk in the night instead.

Do you think this Test recall is your last chance to make it count?

You can’t relax when you are playing for India. There have been times when I felt that I don’t need to work as sab acha chal raha hai. Similarly, there have been times when we just pray that somehow I do well and return to form. These are the stages every cricketer has to goes through. During the World Cup I was literally praying ke yeh match acha jaye so that I get my confidence. I can’t write the future, but I know the present lies in my hands.

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