The last few years have been wonderful in the career of Ravindra Jadeja who has become an integral part of the Indian side in all three formats of the sport. An Indian team without Jadeja is hard to imagine at this point and he’s expected to play a pivotal role during the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand and on the tour of England.
However, it wasn’t long ago that Jadeja was struggling to find a footing in the starting XI of the Indian team. He described the phase as difficult and filled with many sleepless nights. The phase Ravindra Jadeja is talking about was when India played a lot of Tests in overseas conditions and the team management decided against playing an extra spinner in Jadeja as the surfaces didn’t have much turn. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were also the preferred spinners in the ODI format, ahead of Jadeja.
“Honestly, those one-and-a-half years were filled with sleepless nights. Through that phase, I remember I would be up till 4-5 am. I would be thinking about what to do, how am I going to bounce back? I couldn’t sleep. I would be lying down but jaaga hi rehta tha (was awake only),” Jadeja said in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express.
“I was in the Test squad but not playing as we played a lot overseas. I wasn’t playing ODIs. I wasn’t playing domestic too as I would be travelling with the Indian team though not playing. I wasn’t getting any opportunity to prove myself. I would keep thinking about how I am going to come back,” he added.
The man from Saurashtra proved his worth and grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the final Test during the tour of England. He scored an unbeaten 86 in the first innings when the team was struggling in the Oval Test and that innings ‘went on to change everything for him.’
He regained his confidence and rediscovered the faith that his technique was good enough to get him runs anywhere in the world and against any bowling attack.
“That Test changed everything for me. Poora (complete) game. My performance, my confidence, everything. When you score in English conditions against the best bowling attack, it greatly impacts your confidence.
“It makes you feel your technique is good enough to score anywhere in the world. Later, Hardik Pandya got injured and I made my ODI comeback. From then on, my game has been going well, touchwood,” the 32-year-old signed off.