The Telegraph
Saturday , January 19 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Better to field first: Jadeja

Ranchi: Ravindra Jadeja feels that it would be wise to field first when playing on a wicket that hasn’t been tested in international cricket.

The Jharkhand International Cricket Stadium will be hosting its first international match on Saturday and the uneven bounce on the practice wickets has made the Indians a bit wary.

“It’s our first match and we don’t know how the wicket is going to behave and the amount of bounce and turn on offer. It’s better to field on this wicket. So, the toss will be crucial here,” Jadeja said on Friday.

The all-rounder felt that the Ranchi pitch wouldn’t be a featherbed. “I don’t think this wicket is like the one in Rajkot. The outfield also doesn’t seem that fast. But if the wicket is firm and has even bounce, it will help us prepare for the next game in Mohali,” he said.

“The practice wicket seemed a little uneven. It was not like those used in a proper match. We will see tomorrow how the main strip behaves.”

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was hit on his right thumb, while Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh too had difficulties negotiating the bounce.

However, Jadeja, the Man of the Match in Kochi, sounded positive about India’s chances.

“This is our first International match in Dhoni’s hometown. We are positive about it and are looking forward to winning the game. We hope to do the right things.

“We are very happy about the way we won our last match. We just have to carry forward our winning momentum.”

Jadeja seemed to be high on confidence after his match-winning effort. “I did well in all three departments. I will go in with the same thinking and will look to win it again.”

What has been the secret of his improved batting? “I had a good Ranji season… Two triple hundreds. That’s been the most positive aspect.

“I always thought of utilising the opportunities. I’ve been careful about shot selection and hope not to repeat the same mistakes.”

He didn’t wish to read much into Virat Kohli’s lean phase. “I don’t think it’s a worry. Virat has been doing well for quite a long time.

“It happens in every cricketers’ life... There’s no doubt that if he does well the confidence of the team goes up. Hope he does well tomorrow.”