Features and Interviews
Was trying not to bowl outside off: Jadeja
Economical all-rounder speaks about creating pressure and containing Australian batsmen
Even as the Indian bowling attack was getting clobbered by Australian batsmen in the first ODI, Ravindra Jadeja emerged as the most economical of the hosts’ bowlers with an economy rate of 3.50. He even gave his team its first breakthrough. Jadeja went about his task methodically as he bowled to the on song opposition batsmen and reaped the benefits for his disciplined efforts. The left-arm spinner sent back Phillip Hughes to end the opening stand for 110 and continued to pose a few questions to the other batsmen.
While speaking to bcci.tv, the unassuming all-rounder talked about the key to bowling to the Australians and stemming the flow of runs.
Excerpts from his interview:
When you come in to bowl in the middle overs batsmen are looking to hit and go for runs. How do you prepare for that?
It depends on how the wicket behaves. If there is turn, then accordingly I try to bowl a bit slow. Today the wicket was slow and there wasn’t that much turn; I was trying to bowl in the good areas. They cut, pull and sweep well, so I was trying not to bowl to them outside the off-stump and bowl at the stumps.
Tell us about the first breakthrough and how crucial was that wicket?
It was very important for the team because the opening partnership was worth 110 and at that time getting a wicket was important. We got a good wicket and then we were able to hold back the scoring a bit in the middle; we didn’t give away too many boundaries. We will try to get early breakthroughs in the next match and if we get one or two wickets initially, they we will be able to create pressure.
How did you work to turn things around after being a bit expensive in a few matches in between?
It was a different situation, a different format – Twenty20 format and the conditions were different too. There was dew and ball couldn’t be gripped properly. Today afternoon there was no dew and the ball could be gripped well, so that makes a difference. It becomes easy for the batsmen to hit the spinners in those conditions where there is dew.
But I had confidence in myself and backed myself and would tell myself that I am doing well (have to do well). And today also I thought about the good bowling that I have done for India in the past and bowled with a positive attitude.
What has been MS Dhoni and Joe Dawes’ advice to you?
As the situation kept changing, like when Australia lost a few wickets in the middle, they told me to just bowl normally and not think too much about doing anything different. And I was trying to bowl normally. When a team loses a couple of wickets quickly, like they lost Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson back-to-back, then any team comes under a bit of pressure. So I was trying to bowl normally and trying to ensure that I don’t give away boundaries.
They (Dhoni and Dawes) back me and tell me what improvements can be done and what I should be doing as we move forward. When I am bowling well, they don’t tell me to make too many changes and just ask me to keep that rhythm going.
Any exchanges with Yuvraj Singh that have helped you as an all-rounder?
I have been watching him since childhood. He is my idol and I have been watching him bat, bowl and field. In the last match – the T20I at Rajkot – he batted really well. So I learnt that in a situation like that one should try to take the game to the end. If you play till the last over, you can win the game.
When the other bowlers were being hit for runs, you were able to bowl more economically. What was the key to your bowling?
It is important to bowl in the right areas. If you bowl outside the off-stump or outside the leg-stump, you are likely to be hit. And then there is the rule of having five players inside the circle, which has to be kept in mind while bowling and (we need to) bowl accordingly. (During the non-Powerplay overs, a maximum of four fielders can be placed outside the circle – a reduction from the earlier five.)
How much difference does this rule make?
It makes a lot of difference because sometimes the batsman is set or sometimes the powerplay is on or even if you are bowling after the powerplay, to bowl to a set batsman where the ball isn’t spinning, it is a bit tough.
Features and Interviews
We have confidence in our batting: Finch
Australia opener also talks about his role in the line-up
Australia opener Aaron Finch clinically decimated the Indian bowling attack in the two encounters on the tour so far. Although he ended up on the losing side in the T20I at Rajkot, his 79-ball 72-run effort in Pune came in a winning cause in the first ODI of the seven-match series.
He timed the ball beautifully to help Australia to a solid start in a 110-run opening start with Phillip Hughes. That paved the way for the rest of the line-up to propel the team to a formidable total, which was enough for their bowlers to defend against the strong Indian batting line-up.
While speaking to bcci.tv, Finch spoke about his role at the top of the order and his team strategy in the ongoing bilateral series.
Excerpts from his post match interview:
Tell us about your role at the top of the order. You have been taking time to get in and lay foundations
I think the role for myself and Hugey (Phillip Hughes) at the top of the order is to really get us off to a good start. It probably took us five or six overs to get going and it was quite tough. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled exceptionally well at the start of the innings, so we decided to wait, and wait, and once we saw him through, we found it a bit easy to time the ball. It was just a tough wicket at the start. o we had to wait and we ended up having a nice partnership there, which was good.
Is it part of the strategy that one of you will hold up one end while the batsman at other end will go after the bowling?
We know India have a fantastic batting line-up, so we have to get around 280-300 runs in most games. So we felt that we have to keep attacking throughout the innings. At times we lose too many wickets, but in the end I think to get 300-odd runs on this wicket was a great effort.
What have you done to adapt to the conditions in India, which are very different to Australia?
Not a lot. We play so much cricket here now, through the IPL (Indian Premier League) and various other tours, that the guys can adapt their game pretty quickly to these conditions.
And I am just looking to hit the ball and not be afraid to take them over the top if I have to.
Australia and India, both have good batting depth. So should we expect to see more of a contest in the batting department?
It depends on what kind of wickets there are going to be in the next few games. I suppose that in the past, through the IPL the Jaipur wicket has had a bit of pace and carry in it. So that seems to be a good batting wicket. So I think the teams that can defend better with the ball are going to be more successful.
We have got confidence in our batting side to keep attacking throughout the innings. So we are really looking forward to the next game.