After a tough domestic season in 2019-20, N. Jagadeesan turned it around this year as he played a crucial role in helping Tamil Nadu clinch the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
The wicketkeeper-batsman finished as the highest scorer with 364 runs at a strike rate of 141.08.
Last year, he made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings, playing five matches, and called it an important breakthrough.
“It was a great boost because when you are warming up the benches for two seasons, you start to doubt yourself,” said Jagadeesan. “Once I made my debut, I knew I could handle the best bowlers in the best competition and it helped me going into this tournament.”
On what he learnt from the IPL, Jagadeesan said: “I did some technical adjustment but more than that there was a mental change.
“The way I prepare for a game has evolved and it has helped me with things like when to take on a bowler and my shot selection,” added the 25-year-old.
He scored four consecutive half-centuries in the group stage and credited the role played by Mike Hussey at CSK.
“I worked a lot with Hussey and he gave me tips on how to approach an innings. When someone of that stature supports you, I just took that and tried to implement,” said the player from Coimbatore.
On the Mushtaq Ali triumph — he was the vice-captain since the knockout stages — Jagadeesan said: “I was coming off a poor season last year and I wanted to do well. To finish as the leading run-scorer and win the tournament is very satisfying.
“We had a lot of youngsters and someone stepped up whenever needed. The way Dinesh Karthik managed the whole side, it was fantastic.”