We will try our best to win: Jadeja
With rain continuing to make its presence felt in Odisha, the Indian team trained at the indoor facility at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack to prepare for the upcoming ODI versus Australia.
“We are mentally prepared to play a match, no matter how many overs it is. Everyone is fit and we all worked hard in the nets. Everyone wants the match to happen. We are 1-2 behind, so we want to win a match whenever we get an opportunity. It’s a home series, so obviously everyone wants the match to happen and for us to do well,” India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja told the media during the press conference on the eve of Game 5 of the seven-match ODI series.
Asked if there will be added pressure going into the sixth match if the encounter on October 26 is washed out, he said, “There isn’t too much pressure as such. If this match doesn’t happen, then we have to win the remaining two matches. We can’t do anything about the rain. But we will try our utmost to win the remaining matches.”
Speaking about the series so far, he said, “Two good teams are playing, and they are ranked second in the world, so obviously they have also come with the motivation to do well, and they will also play good cricket. We have also played well everywhere. In the last 12-18 months we have won in England, West Indies and Zimbabwe. Having played so much cricket, there will be a slipup in one or two matches. We have chased well twice (in this series) – in the Twenty20 and we chased 360 in Jaipur. So it’s not as if are playing badly. But it was just that in one or two matches – due to panic, wrong shot selection or confusion – the results haven’t gone our way. In the last match we got a good start and took three wickets, so if we are fielding first, we will try to do the same thing and get a good start. And if we are batting first, we’ll try to put up a good score.”
When asked if the short ball has posed problems for the Indian middle order, as has been discussed extensively throughout the series, Jadeja pointed out the team’s successful performances in England and against some top sides. He said, “I don’t think anyone is not comfortable against bounce. We beat England in England. In fact, we beat all the top teams in England – Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa. So it’s not as if we can’t play bounce well or do well only in India. It’s just that in one or two matches, the batting collapses sometimes. I don’t think it’s anything we need to think about too much.”
Another prominent issue is the new ODI rules. Elaborating on their impact and the challenges emerging due to the usage of two new balls for the spinners, Jadeja mentioned, “The new rule of having five fielders in (the 30-yard circle) obviously makes it tough for spinners. If batsmen are set in the middle overs, then it is very easy for them. But that rule is there for all. We have to play accordingly, and keep that in mind whenever we are bowling. We practice in the nets like that too and we have to prepare ourselves to bowl that way in the match too.”
“If you’re getting something from the wicket, you can be playing in England or Australia or India, and the newness of the ball won’t matter to spinners,” he added.
When asked if it is a challenge for bowlers to get a full quota of 10 overs on good batting tracks, he explained that the call is taken after assessing the situation. “We have to keep in mind things like having five fielders inside the circle always. We have to decide who has to be inside, who has to bowl to which batsman and what the situation is. If there is a new batsman at the crease, we can keep all five or even six in the ring. But if the batsmen are set, then it becomes tough to decide which fielders to keep inside. We have to see, what are the batsman’s strong areas where he can hit the ball, and then accordingly make a game plan,” he said.
The all-rounder himself has a good record at the venue with the bat and the ball. Reflecting on his performance in Cuttack, Jadeja said, “I have played three of four matches here and done well every time. I took four wickets and made a triple-century (in the Ranji Trophy) also. I did well in the Deodhar Trophy also and scored a fast fifty. So it’s been good. I’ll just stick to the routines I have followed and won’t try anything different,” he concluded.