Ravindra Jadeja had a torrid time in the IPL this season. He struggled as a player and, more frustratingly, had to relinquish captaincy at the Chennai Super Kings after failing to get desired results. But all that is past as Jadeja enjoys his present success — a Test century in England.
Jadeja hit 104 off 194 deliveries, his first overseas Test century, and shared a 222-run partnership with Rishabh Pant (146 off 111 balls) for the sixth wicket to rescue India from a precarious 98/5 in their first innings in the rescheduled fifth and final Test against England.
The all-rounder believes his performance at Edgbaston will serve as a big confidence booster going forward in his career.
“I am very happy that I scored a hundred outside India and that too in England. It is a big thing as a player. For me, I take this hundred as a confidence booster to score a hundred in England in swinging conditions,” Jadeja said after the second’s day play, on Saturday.
And no, he was not carrying any baggage from his forgettable IPL campaign. “I had nothing in mind about IPL. Whatever has happened there is past but when you are playing for India, the entire focus is on performing for the Indian team. If I perform well for India, there is no bigger satisfaction for me.”
Deconstructing his innings, the Saurashtra player said that better judgement in playing balls and an overall disciplined approach helped him overcome challenges.
“In England, you need to play close to your body, because if you try to play cover drives and square drives, there are chances that you may get out caught behind or in the slips.
“So my focus was to leave balls which are outside off stump. I thought of hitting the ball if it was pitched close to me. Luckily, the balls I picked were in my areas. You need to know your off stump and leave the ball which is pitched outside off stump,” Jadeja said.
Highlighting the importance of discipline, he added: “In these conditions, the ball swings, so you need to bring in discipline in your batting. You have to play picking the balls which are on fourth and fifth stumps. In 40, 50 or 70 you can get out to a good ball…
“I was just thinking that if I get a good ball, I can do nothing, but at least I should try not to play a bad shot and not go in search of boundaries. If the ball is in my range and my areas, I will hit that.”
He is also flexible in doing whatever the team wants him to do. “I won’t like to give myself any tag. Whatever the team needs, I try to perform accordingly. As an all-rounder sometimes situations come when you need to score runs and either save or win the match for the team. In bowling you are expected to give breakthroughs. I consider myself a team player.”