Excited and happy to wear Indian jersey again: Jadeja
Returning to action in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series against Australia after nearly five months, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja feels he is blessed to wear the India jersey again after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury, which forced him to miss the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.
Jadeja missed the 2022 T20 World Cup as he underwent knee surgery, which kept him out of the game for five months.
"I am very excited and happy that after almost more than five months, I get to wear the Indian jersey again. I have been blessed that I was given the opportunity again and the journey to reach here was full of up and downs. Because if you are not playing cricket for five months, it becomes very frustrating and obviously, I was eagerly waiting to get fit as soon as possible so that I can go play for India," he told BCCI.tv in an interview.
Jadeja said personally it was a difficult decision for him to make whether to undergo surgery before or after the World Cup, but in the end he went by the doctor's advise.
"I had a problem with my knee and I had to get surgery sooner or later. But I had to take the decision whether I would have it before the World Cup or after. So, the doctor also advised me to do it before the World Cup because my chances of playing the World Cup were anyway pretty less. So I made up my mind and went for the surgery." He, however, said the period after the surgery was really difficult but the motivation of donning the India jersey again kept him going.
"The period after that (surgery) was pretty difficult because you have to continuously do rehab and training. You had thoughts in your head about your fitness when you saw the matches on TV, like I was watching the World Cup, I wished that I was there.
"These small things motivate you to speed up the recovery process," he said about the post-surgery recovery period.
"The physios and trainers at the NCA worked a lot on my knee. Even when the NCA was closed on Sundays, they would come and specially treat me. The two months after the injury were especially tough because I couldn't go anywhere, I couldn't walk properly. That was a pretty critical time and there my family and friends stood by my side. The NCA trainers also boosted my confidence." Only last month, Jadeja made a successful return to the game, representing Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy game against Tamil Nadu in Chennai.
"I felt a bit awkward because I hadn't been out in the sun for five months. I was doing indoor training so when I went into the middle I was thinking if my body can sustain.
"First day was very tough and we all know about Chennai's heat. Then my body acclimatised to the situation and I felt good and fit," he said.
The first of the four Tests against visiting Australia will begin here on February 9.
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