Ravichandran Ashwin has by far been the most prolific bowler for team India in the last home season but if there is one who has made a similar if not more impact than him, he has to be his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja. Whenever the team was in trouble or Ashwin was finding it tough to get going, Jadeja rescued the side.
For example, when England openers Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings added 97 runs for the first wicket before going into the lunch break on the final day of the Chennai Test last year, nobody would have given India even an outside chance of winning the match.
However, Jadeja’s sensational spell of seven for 48 gave the hosts an unlikely win. Similarly, when Ashwin was looking tired and a bit less effective in the series against Australia, Jadeja took the mantle on himself, emerging as the highest wicket-taker and to help India win the series 2-1.
Not surprising to hear then that India’s premier left-arm spinner loves to perform in challenging conditions.
“I like to perform when there are challenges. In cricket when you get easy performances or easy wickets then it’s no fun, but when you have to fight and perform in challenging conditions then that feeling is something else,” Jadeja said.
Jadeja had also played an integral role in India’s triumphant campaign in the Champions Trophy four years ago in England when he finished the tournament as its highest wicket-taker but failed to replicate his performance in this year’s edition. The Saurashtra star will get the chance to get back to his best in the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka where he will work with India’s newly-appointed backroom staff – head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling consultant Zaheer Khan and batting consultant for overseas Test series Rahul Dravid.
Speaking about the trio, Jadeja said:
“The good thing is that whatever new experience is added to the team, it is good for us. Hopefully, whoever new comes in the team, they will share their experiences and we will get to learn from them. Cricket is such a sport that you get to learn something from someone every day. I will also try to learn from their experiences by talking to them.”
Jadeja, who was part of India Under-19’s triumphant World Cup team of 2008, hogged the limelight with his performances for Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League and feels the shortest format of the game is a good platform for the youngsters to prove themselves.
“I think T20 is a good platform for youngsters. When I played in the IPL in 2008 for Rajasthan Royals, it was a good platform for me to showcase my talent and the selectors would notice me. “The young players who come from Under-19 or players who don’t get an opportunity elsewhere they get an opportunity in the IPL. If they perform well then they can make it to the top,” he insisted.