Indian cricket team all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has revealed that the fifth Test against England in 2018 was a major turning point in his career as it gave him a lot of confidence.
Reeling at 160/6, the 32-year-old southpaw scored a magnificent 86 not out off 156 balls while batting at No. 8 as the visitors chased England's first-innings 332. However, despite Jadeja’s scintillating knock, India conceded the first-innings lead and lost the match by 188 runs, and the five-Test series 1-4 to England.
"That Test changed everything for me, poora (complete) game -- my performance, my confidence, everything. When you score in English conditions against the best bowling attack, it greatly impacts your confidence. It makes you feel your technique is good enough to score anywhere in the world," he told Indian Express.
"Later, Hardik Pandya got injured and I made my ODI comeback. From then on, my game has been going well, touchwood."
Jadeja also disclosed that he had sleepless nights for more than a year after getting dropped from Team India's limited-overs squad post the Champions Trophy loss in 2017.
"Honestly, those one-and-a-half years were filled with sleepless nights. Through that phase, I remember I would be up till 4-5 am. I would be thinking about what to do, how am I going to bounce back? I couldn't sleep. I would be lying down but jaaga hi rehta tha (would remain awake)," he said.
"I was in the Test squad but not playing as we played a lot overseas. I wasn't playing ODIs. I wasn't playing domestic too as I would be travelling with the Indian team though not playing. I wasn't getting any opportunity to prove myself. I would keep thinking about how I am going to come back."
The Gujarat-born cricketer also stated he changed his approach while training in order to improve his power game in the shortest format.
“I improved my training methods as I realised in T20 I needed power apart from the timing. Timing comes in handy when you are not in a rush for runs, like in Tests. I increased my training before that season, worked a lot on overall strength, upper body, and shoulder.
“There were one-and-half months of practice before that 2020 season and I didn’t miss even a day even if it was optional,” he added.
Since making his debut in February 2009, Jadeja has represented India in 51 Tests, 168 ODIs, and 50 T20 Internationals.
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Featured photo: Adrian DENNIS / AFP