Ravindra Jadeja is going through a wonderful phase in his international career, having established himself as a key part of the Indian team across all three formats. While right now it seems hard to imagine the Indian team without Jadeja, it wasn’t the case a few years back when he was struggling to break into the playing XI. Describing that difficult phase, the all-rounder said that he “couldn’t sleep” and had many “sleepless nights”. This was the time when India played a lot of Tests on foreign soil where conditions don’t aid spin bowling that much, while in ODIs Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were preferred to the left-arm orthodox from Saurashtra.
“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.
Waiting for a chance to prove his worth, Jadeja grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the fifth and the final Test during India’s tour of England in 2018.
With India struggling at 160 for 6, Jadeja scored an unbeaten 86 in the first innings of the Oval Test in 2018 which in his own words “changed everything for me” and he only went from strength to strength from then on.
Jadeja believes the knock in England gave him the confidence that his technique was good enough to score anywhere in the world, 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.”
Jadeja is currently quarantining in Mumbai before embarking on the England tour, where India will be playing the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against the Joe Root-led side.
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