We batted to our potential: Jadeja
An all-round performance by Ravindra Jadeja helped the hosts level the five-ODI series against England 1-1. After slamming an unbeaten 61 off 37 balls, he returned to claim two wickets and the Man of the Match award in front of vociferous 60,000-odd fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Although they didn’t get off to a good start, India were helped to a competitive total by the middle-order trio of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. After Raina and Dhoni stabilised the innings, the Saurashtra all-rounder and the India captain counterattacked in the last eight overs and garnered 95 runs from them. Although Dhoni departed after a 96-run partnership with four balls remaining in the innings, Jadeja clobbered 14 more off the last three balls by Jade Dernbach. Later, with his left-arm spin, he picked two wickets at a miserly economy-rate of 1.71, after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had dealt early blows to rock back the English team.
While speaking to bcci.tv after the game, the jubilant youngster reflected on the match and his performance.
Excerpts from his interview:
On the victory and the boost it has given
Actually, we are feeling really good that we have beaten them by such a big margin. We batted well in the last 15 overs. We batted to our potential and runs also came at a good flow. So, from there on, we were at an advantage and they were on the back foot. And then when we came to bowl, when I was bowling, the wicket was turning and it had become difficult for them to score runs on the turning track. From there on, we built on the pressure and pressed the advantage further by not allowing them to score easy boundaries.
On whether they had planned to keep wickets in hand and accelerate later in the innings
We had done well in the last match also, but the target was a bit stiff and we lost wickets at the wrong time. So, after that, we discussed that when a big partnership is building, we will try and ensure we don’t play a wrong shot and get out, and build partnerships. We played accordingly today and so in the last 15-odd overs we could do well. We played with a positive attitude.
On his batting
The wicket was good. I have played here so I knew that there is movement initially, but later the wicket eases out a bit and there is not that much movement. I had decided that if I get to bat for 10-15 overs, I will play my normal game initially, and then I will try to play as per the requirement of team.
On the crucial Raina-Dhoni partnership
Yes, it was very important. And in one-day cricket, especially having those 50-60 run partnerships in the middle is very crucial, because if you get three-four such partnerships, getting to 280-270 becomes easy.
On the impact of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s early strikes
If you take early wickets against any team, especially one that is chasing, they will obviously be under pressure because if the team’s frontline players get out in the first 15-20 overs, they will definitely be under pressure.
On his perfect all-round performance
In one-day cricket the role of the all-rounder is very important, because if he does well with the bat and the ball, the team gets a lot of help. So, I will always try to perform like this in the forthcoming matches as well.
On his journey from one-day cricket to a Test cap
I think I am very fortunate to get the India Test cap and I was handed the cap by a great player like Sachin paaji [Tendulkar]. So, I will remember that moment forever. I wanted to prove myself for Test cricket as well; that I can play the longer version of the game as well. So, bearing that in mind, I played long innings in the Ranji Trophy and scored two triple-hundreds earlier this season. If I get the opportunity to prove myself, I will always try and make the most of it and help the team.