There have been occasions when Ravindra Jadeja’s international form didn’t justify the loads of runs he has in domestic cricket. India captain Virat Kohli knows the reason behind it.
“He used to think too much about Test cricket being too difficult, or having to play differently. People have different ways of playing. He obviously has certain ways of playing, which we feel he should not change,” said Kohli on Thursday.
“Obviously, he will gain experience. If a situation comes where we have to draw a Test or play a session out, I’m sure he will develop that skill as well. But for him to do that, he needs to be more confident. That can happen by scoring more runs,” he said.
“The other skills keep adding on at this level. He is feeling more confident about himself, about his contribution. He needs regular assurance of the management and his fellow players to make him realise how good he can be with the bat. That’s all we are doing with him,” said Kohli.
Confidence in batting can be carried forward to bowling. The same works in reverse as well. If Jadeja wants assurance, he won’t have to look far. Ask R Ashwin, who has almost made a habit of grafting good scores after picking heaps of wickets. Kohli is hoping the same will gradually happen with Jadeja.
“It’s a habit of getting 60, 70, 80. He has been very responsive as well. I’m happy that he is contributing with the bat because we always felt he has both skills in abundance. It’s about working a bit harder, making sure the team benefits from both his skills,” he said.
Jadeja comes to this Test amid talk of some discomfort to Ashwin due to a corn on his middle finger. Ashwin didn’t bowl on Thursday even though he did bat in the nets. Jayant Yadav has been drafted too, just in case India needed two off-spinners, said Kohli.
In the unlikeliest possibility of Ashwin not playing, Jadeja shouldn’t hesitate from stepping up to the mantle of leading India’s spin attack. For assurance he just needs to look back to Kanpur where unbeaten scores of 42 and 50 along with a five-wicket haul in the first innings fetched him the Man-of-the-Match award.