Thursday, October 5, 2023

‘He didn’t play 2019 Master’s down. Bharat Arun and I told him…’: Ravi Shastri’s ‘talk’ which prompted Jadeja’s resurgence

Ravi Shastri revealed an interesting conversation with Ravindra Jadeja in 2019, which led to the all-rounder putting in the hard yards to improve his game.

Leading 2-0 against Australia in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India will be aiming to clinch a series-clinching victory in the third Test match in Indore, set to begin from March 1. The hosts were in brilliant form in the first Test match, destroying Pat Cummins and Co. to win by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur. Then they followed it up with a six-wicket win on Day 3 of the second Test match in New Delhi. Ravindra Jadeja was in particularly hot-form, taking a five-wicket haul in Nagpur, and bagging seven dismissals in total. He also registered a half-century, which proved to be crucial for his side in the first innings.

In the second Test match, the all-rounder once again shone and took a seven-wicket in the second innings as Australia collapsed for 113. In total, he took 10 wickets in New Delhi, dominating Aussie batters with ease.

In the last 2-3 years, Jadeja has become a vital cog in the Indian setup, making the all-rounder slot his own. But it wasn’t always like this for the 34-year-old, who had to fight for his spot till 2019. Speaking on the ICC Review, former India head coach Ravi Shastri revealed an interesting conversation with Jadeja, which probably led to the Gujarat native’s resurgence.

“I think he is hungry, he is supremely fit. He is very passionate about the sport. I remember not too many conversations, but it was at Lord’s in the 2019 tour. He didn’t play that game. It was a conversation that happened. We had a chat, Bharat Arun was there, the bowling coach as well. We said, you have got everything in you, just focus on that batting of yours. Work a little harder in that area in the nets because you have got the game, you have the talent and it’s weird telling you that you have got that talent. It is for you to realise that you have got that talent. You believe that you have got the talent”, revealed Shastri.

“Once he got the opportunity later, he’s not looked back, having got runs in crucial stages, in trying conditions and then of course, with the ball, he does his job. That’s why in overseas conditions it becomes a nightmare for a coach to pick a spinner. If you have to pick only one, then it is a nightmare. Look at Ashwin’s record and then you have Jadeja, it becomes tough”, he further added.

In 62 Test matches, Jadeja has registered 2619 runs (three hundreds, 18 fifties) and 259 wickets (12 five-wicket and two 10-wicket hauls). Meanwhile, in 171 ODIs, he has bagged 2447 runs (13 half-centuries) and 189 wickets (one five-wicket haul, and in 64 T20Is, he has grabbed 457 runs and 51 wickets. The all-rounder will be aiming to build on his form and help India grab a series-clinching win in the third Test match.

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