Sydney, January 8
The plan was to vary pace of his deliveries and create angles since there was not much turn on offer, said all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja after his four-wicket haul reduced Australia to 338 on day two of the third Test here on Friday.
Jadeja returned with figures of four for 62 in 18 overs besides getting rid of centurion Steve Smith with a brilliant direct hit.
“The idea was to create pressure as this wasn’t a wicket where you would get chance in every over. You can’t bowl all deliveries at same pace on this wicket as there was no turn on offer. You had to mix and match and create angles,” said Jadeja while talking about his plans going into day two.
Of late, Jadeja has also been making important contributions with the bat. He made a crucial 57 in the second Test after a good run in the preceding limited-overs series. But for India’s top multi-skilled cricketer, the focus has also been on producing all-round performances.
“Not just last 12 to 18 months, from the time I started playing, that’s what has been my role. Whenever I am playing, I try to contribute in both departments of the game. And whenever I have been given opportunities, more often than not, I have delivered. Yes, outside India, my batting performances have been highlighted more. I am not thinking too much only want to cash in on every chance that I get,” Jadeja said.
Jadeja is batting at number seven in the series but won’t mind batting higher up the order.
“The higher up the order I bat, I play with more responsibility and playing with a top-order batsman, you interact and gain confidence. About what we need to do and what we don’t need to do. Also, you get a lot of time to plan and set your innings as per match situation. Initially, if I get started, then I play in a flow. It is good if I bat high up in the order,” said Jadeja without specifying the position where he wanted to bat.
When asked about his preferred position, he joked: “Tell me, should I open?”
India trail by 242 runs going into day three with eight wickets in hand. Jadeja stressed on the importance of being patient on the slow SCG surface.
“The approach tomorrow should be simple. One should spend time on the wicket. Australian bowlers are good and you won’t get too many loose balls. You have to wait for it and that theory will suit our batting unit,” he said.
Jadeja also felt Australian batsmen, mainly Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, played him and R Ashwin better in this innings but the pitch also helped them.
“They played some sweep shots and at times over long on, they were positive. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” Jadeja said.
He also praised young teammate Shubman Gill, who struck his maiden fifty on Friday.
“He has the temperament to play a long innings. He got a good start today. He is showing good signs. Hopefully, he will have a long career,” he concluded. PTI