Left-handed batter Ravindra Jadeja was at his best in the first innings of the ongoing Edgbaston Test against England as he played a 104-run knock to help India post 416 runs on the board. India were struggling at 98/5 and it was then that Jadeja along with Rishabh Pant put on 222 runs for the sixth wicket. Speaking to reporters after stumps on Day 2, Jadeja talked about his mindset during the innings and also reacted to James Anderson’s comment where the England pacer had said that Jadeja thinks like a proper batter now.
While speaking to reporters after stumps on Day 2 at a press conference, Anderson had said: “In the past he was coming at 8, bat with the tail so he had to chance his arm a little bit, whereas now at 7 he can bat like a proper batter. He leaves really well and made it difficult for us.”
When Jadeja was asked about his comment at a press conference on Saturday, he said: “See, when you score runs, everyone says they think of themselves as a proper batter. But I’ve always tried to give myself time at the crease, to set a partnership with whoever is at the crease, to play with him. It’s nice Anderson has realised that after 2014.”
It is important to note that during the 2014 Trent Bridge Test, Jadeja and Anderson had an altercation inside the pavilion and then a complaint was made against the Indian team management against the England management. As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Indian camp claimed that Anderson had shoved Jadeja without any altercation and eventually a Level 3 charge was imposed on the England pacer by ICC.
Further talking about his knock in the ongoing Test, Jadeja said: “In England you have play close to the body. The ball swings here so if you look to play the cover- or square-drive there is a chance you can edge to the cordon. My focus was to initially not play at too many balls outside off-stump. When the cover or point is vacant there is a temptation to hit the ball through that area for a boundary, but then you can get out in the slips. My thought was only to hit the ball that was really close to me and to hit it straight. Luckily, all the balls that I picked were in my areas and converted them into boundaries. If you know where your off-stump is, then you can leave the balls outside that line.”
When asked about Pant’s knock, Jadeja said: “A little pressure goes off because he’s hitting every bowler in the same way. He wasn’t leaving anyone alone. At the non-striker’s end, it feels good because they then don’t focus too much on me. But as a batsman you still have to come to England and concentrate and focus because it is never easy here. You’re playing on 50 or 70 and you can get a good ball anytime. Me and Rishabh were talking about this, that we just try and put on a long partnership. When I came to bat, we had to take the team to a good position and really had to put some effort in. Hopefully we’ve put a good total on the board.”
At stumps on Day 2, England’s score read 84/5 and they are still trailing by 332 runs with Jonny Bairstow (12*) and Ben Stokes (0*) at the crease. India had earlier posted 416 after centuries from Pant and Jadeja, Anderson had taken five wickets for England.
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