Ravindra Jadeja bowled brilliantly and returned with the figures of 4 for 62.
An exceptional all-rounder, India’s Ravindra Jadeja was pretty chuffed about running Steve Smith out with a direct hit in the ongoing third Test against Australia and called it his “best ever” fielding effort which he can watch any number of times.
Smith, who was batting on 130 and was in a mood to slog every ball in company of No.11 batsman Josh Hazlewood, couldn’t beat a direct throw from Jadeja, who sprinted from his deep square leg position and effected a direct hit with throw reminiscent of the great Kapil Dev during his heydays.
Asked what will he like to watch, the four wickets he got or the run-out, the senior all-rounder replied: “I will rewind and play this run-out as this is my best effort. A direct hit from outside the 30-yard circle and that’s like a moment that gives you that satisfaction.” “Three or four wicket hauls are fine but this run-out will stay with me,” said the Saurashtra all-rounder.
Jadeja has been a live wire on the field during this tour with some fantastic catches like the one he took running backwards at the MCG to dismiss Matthew Wade or this run-out at a crucial juncture when Smith could have added an extra 25 to 30 runs.
Plan was to vary pace and create angles: Jadeja
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.
“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 12-18 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 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 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 start, 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.” 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.” 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.”