Ravindra Jadeja gears up to spin Aussies out of the crease
Although Ravichandran Ashwin was the best bowler in the Test series against South Africa, it would not be right to count out the contribution made his spin bowling partner, Ravindra Jadeja. In the four Test matches against the Proteas, Jadeja picked up 23 wickets at an astonishing average of 10.82 and an economy rate of just 1.76.
Jadeja also made useful contributions with the bat, slowly living up to his role of being an all-rounder for India. Ahead of the limited-overs tour of Australia, Jadeja spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda about his role in the team, the chances India have Down Under and his inspiration to play cricket.
Is there a pressure on you to do both batting and bowling equally effectively?
It is not everyone who can be trusted with both bat and ball, and I am honoured to be one of those few. Hence, I tend to enjoy the all-rounder role, rather than feeling the pressure.
Your spin partner Ashwin had a great year. Can you talk to us about him?
Ravi Ashwin is definitely among the top bowlers right now, and probably the best off-spinner in world cricket. He has tremendous control and variation in his bowling, and that is why he has managed to be successful both at home and away. Yes, we talk to each other about bowling and exchange ideas while training and during match situations. It is good to have someone like him around.
Can you name the 3 toughest players you have faced in your career?
It is really difficult to point out players that I found to be tough. However, according to me, Australia is one of the toughest opponents I have ever played against. They are mentally and physically very tough but we will be ready to compete with them on all aspects.
What kind of games do you expect from Australia in their own backyard? Anything in particular that you are working on as a bowler for this series?
As I said Australia are a tough team to beat, and in their own, backyard they become even stronger. They will definitely come hard at us, but we have a strong team and we are ready for the series. There’s nothing particular I am working upon. I have had a great run recently, took wickets, scored runs. So, the confidence is there, and I can assure you, I would be giving my team nothing but the best effort.
Who are the fittest players in the Indian squad according to you?
You pick up any sport these days, before you are rated on your talent, fitness is what has become the priority. Same is the case with the Indian squad, we stick to our basics and fitness is one of the core factors of our basic.
You came through the junior ranks in 2002 and now play for India. Who is the most important person who has helped you in your cricket?
My mother, she will always be my anchor, my pillar of strength and my source of inspiration.