2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy: Jadeja reveals how Dhoni's advice inspired him to score his second List A century
What's the story?
Saurashtra all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has attributed his sparkling century against Jharkhand to national teammate MS Dhoni's timely advice. Revealing that the Chennai Super Kings skipper has promised him more batting opportunities in the upcoming IPL season, the left-hander has attested to working hard on his batting in order to reclaim his spot in India's limited-overs teams.
"Mahi bhai (Dhoni) told me that I will get batting opportunities in the IPL this year. He said that I have the ability of a proper batsman, and I am not the flash in the pan type of batsman. And I should think like that. It was really encouraging for me. So, I am concentrating more on the batting aspect of my game and trying to get used to playing the anchor role", Jadeja told The New Indian Express.
He added, "I do not want to be a player who is known for hitting those 20-odd runs. I want to play the anchor role. The pain was unbearable some times while playing certain shots. But this was really important for my self confidence. It is morale boosting. To chase the target under the circumstances is really special for me."
During the recently completed Group D match against Jharkhand in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy, Jadeja anchored Saurashtra's run-chase by compiling an unbeaten 113 from 116 deliveries. This was only his second List A century from more than 180 matches in the format.
The heart of the matter
On a featherbed at the Gymkhana Ground in Secunderabad, Jadeja batted at number four as Saurashtra were staring at a daunting target of 330. Coming in at 60/2 at the end of the seventh over, he batted in a responsible manner and formed a crucial partnership with captain Cheteshwar Pujara.
When Pujara departed, Jadeja looked to curb his natural game and instead play the sheet anchor role. He rotated the strike brilliantly in the middle-overs to set a strong platform for the business stages of the match. With some help from Chirag Gani and Arpit Vasavada, the southpaw propelled Saurashtra to a four-wicket victory.
With three wins and two losses from five matches, Saurashtra currently occupy the third spot in Group D. After hoping that other results go their way, they need to win their last group game against Vidarbha on Wednesday in order to stay in the race for the quarterfinals.
Jadeja needs to continue his batting resurgence by performing in Saurashtra's final group match. Another valuable knock from the all-rounder will not only help his team's chances but also prove that his skills with the bat have really turned a corner.