Asia Cup 2022: I was mentally ready to bat at number four, says Ravindra Jadeja

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Asia Cup 2022: I was mentally ready to bat at number four, says Ravindra Jadeja
Asia Cup 2022: I was mentally ready to bat at number four, says Ravindra Jadeja

Asia Cup 2022: I was mentally ready to bat at number four, says Ravindra Jadeja

Asia Cup 2022: It was a brilliant move by the team management to move him up to the number four spot in the batting order, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who scored a vital 29-ball 35 in India’s nail-biting victory against Pakistan, claimed on Tuesday that he was “mentally prepared” for the challenge.

After Rohit Sharma, the captain, and KL Rahul, the opener, were dismissed for 0 and 12 runs, respectively, Jadeja was called upon to bat against Pakistan. Before Hardik Pandya (33 not out) led India above the goal of 149, he shared 52 runs with him for the fifth wicket.

“Of course (I knew it was coming)… I knew such a situation would come after seeing their playing XI. I was mentally ready. Luckily, I scored those crucial runs for the team,” Jadeja said of India’s famous five-wicket win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup opener on Sunday.

“I was the only lefty in the top-seven, sometimes when left-arm spinners and leg-spinners are bowling, it’s easy for a left hander to take chances.

“I just play according to the situation whenever I go out there. In T20, you don’t have much time to think, you just go out there and express yourself. I just have to score runs while batting and give breakthroughs when it’s needed.”

Asked if it (his batting at No. 4) is the way forward, Jadeja said: “It depends on the situation and the opponent’s bowlers.”

When Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz both turned the ball away from a right-hander, Jadeja elevated to counter them. The decision paid off as Jadeja saved India after they lost Rohit and Virat Kohli (35) for just three more runs, leaving them at 53/3 after ten overs.

In the middle overs, Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav (18) solidified India’s chase with a 36-run partnership before Jadeja and Hardik put together the game-winning 52-run partnership.

Asked what he and Hardik discussed while batting, he said: “India-Pakistan matches are always high pressure games. You have high expectations.

“I don’t think there was anything much to discuss, such things happen in T20 format. Everyone contributed in batting, bowling and catches. There was not much to discuss and dissect.”

Both he (2-0-11-0) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-0-32-0) returned without picking up a wicket, but Jadeja noted that they both did a good job of controlling the run flow.

“Spinners also did well, sometimes you do well but don’t get wickets. The T20 format is like that. As a bowling unit, we did well.

“It was a collective effort. Spinners didn’t get any wicket but they restricted the run flow. Those 15-20 runs were crucial in the end,” he said.

Asked about the concluding group match against qualifiers Hong Kong on Wednesday, Jadeja said: “We are going to play against Hong Kong with a positive mindset and also we will not take them lightly.

“On a given day, anything can happen in T20Is. We will give our best and play positively,” he said.

Jadeja’s IPL performance for Chennai Super Kings was forgettable, and also it not clear if he would picked for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Asked how he dealt with such rumours, Jadeja said: “Beech mein toh khabar aayi thi ki main mar gaya hoon! Ish se badi khabar toh ho hi nahi sakti… (There was a rumour in between that I’m dead — can it be anything bigger).”

Rajendra Jadeja, a 61-year-old former cricketer for Saurashtra, was the victim of “false news” on social media in May when it was reported that he had passed away.

“As I said, I don’t think much. I just have to go out there and perform. I practice hard and also improve on my weaknesses, that helps in actual match situations. That’s all I do, day in and day out — bowling, batting and fielding,” he concluded.