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Don’t have to prove to world, but myself: Jadeja

Cuttack, Dec 23 (IANS) Left-handed all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who played a crucial role in India’s emphatic victory in a tense decider against the West Indies, says all he tries to do every time he takes to the cricket field is to give his best and contribute to the team’s win.

On Sunday evening, Jadeja played an unbeaten knock of 39 runs as India chased down a stiff target of 316 with four wickets in hand and win the three-match series 2-1.

“Whenever I get an opportunity, I try and give my best. I need to prove to myself that I am still capable of playing limited-overs cricket,” Jadeja said at the post-match presser. “I don’t have to prove it to anyone else in the world. I try and give my best whether it’s bowling, fielding or batting.”

At the Barabati, Jadeja made contributions with the ball as well and perfectly played the role of all-rounder who bats at No.7. He started with tidy bowling figures of 10-0-54-1 — bowling quick on a slightly helpful pitch, not to mention how he broke the 57-run opening stand — and then helped India to their 10th consecutive series win over the Windies, having walked into the run-chase right after India lost 3 for 40.

“We lost three wickets in the middle and that happens in ODI cricket. Once you get a good start with the openers, it can happen that middle-order batsman gets out cheaply. We knew the wicket is good and that we can chase the target,” he further said.

“I think it was a very crucial innings that I played. It was the series decider. When I came to the crease, I was looking to play with Virat (Kohli). The wicket was very good to bat upon. It was imperative to play according to the ball,” Jadeja said.

Talking about his partnership with skipper Kohli, who anchored the chase, Jadeja said: “Virat and I talked that the wicket is so good. He told me to stay there at the crease and he was looking to finish the game. Unfortunately, he got out and he told me to play normal cricket and not do anything silly,” he added.

After Kohli got out at his individual score of 85, India needed 30 runs off 29 balls and with no recognized batsman in the dressing room, all Jadeja did was reminding himself to stay till the last ball. However, Shardul Thakur played a praise-worthy cameo of 17 — which came off just six balls — as the hosts crossed the line with eight balls to spare.

“After Virat got out, I kept telling myself that I need to play till the last ball. When Shardul came in, I told him to just bat properly, not play silly shots, and look to time the ball. The wicket was so good and the ball was coming on so nicely.”

Jadeja, who himself is a brilliant fielder, said that the team needs to work upon their fielding as they dropped quite a few catches, both in T20Is and ODIs.

“In both ODIs and T20Is, many chances were dropped. We have a young unit. In the next series we will focus more on the fielding bit,” Jadeja said.

–IANS

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