Indian cricketer Kedar Jadhav made his ODI debut as a wicketkeeper-batsman for India back in 2014 against Sri Lanka. However, it wasn't until the ODI series against New Zealand this year that many came to know about his bowling skills as well.
The right-hander was picked in the team based on his batting records in domestic games. However, it was his bowling that caught everyone's eyes during the ODI series. During an interview with Sportstar, Jadhav said that he was thankful for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's trust in his bowling.
The 31-year-old said that it was Dhoni's idea to use him as a bowler during the ODI series win against the Kiwis last month. "Obviously it was MS Dhoni’s decision to bowl me," he said.
"After the first game against New Zealand, where I took two wickets, I became more confident in bowling. From then on it was about taking the responsibility from part-time to all-rounder role. I enjoyed bowling at that level. It’s something which I have to keep working on," he added. Jadhav was the third-highest wicket-taker for India in the ODI series with six scalps in five games. He had an impressive bowling average of 12.17 and maintained his economy well below 5.00 throughout the series.
When asked about how he had acquired his bowling skills, Jadhav credited his experience of having played gully cricket and said, "I have played a lot of gully cricket where I used to play as a professional in Pune. If you play as a pro, you are expected to do everything. Once your bowling quota is over, you have to go and keep. That is where I have learnt all the skills."
Jadhav also mentioned that it was only during the late 2011 season that he took his wicket-keeping skills seriously. He said, "It was around 2010-2011 during a club game I got bored. I asked my keeper to give me the gloves and I got two or three catches. That’s how I began keeping. When I told my IPL franchisee that I can also keep, they saw me in a practice game and were happy."
The right-hander also stated that he was comfortable in playing lower down the order for the Indian team and was hopeful of turning into a good finisher sooner than later. He said, "For the last two to three years whenever I have played in India A games, the selectors have always wanted me to bat at five or six, which is a finisher’s kind of role. So I’m used to it and obviously in the national side also now I’m batting at six. It suits my style as to go and play my shots."
"Obviously there will be pressure while chasing. But that’s part and parcel of the game and I’m enjoying whenever I have gotten opportunities," he concluded.