Ravindra Jadeja's home in Jamnagar wore a festive look on Sunday. The 20-year-old all-rounder had just become the latest entrant to the one-day squad and friends and relatives flocked to the house to congratulate him.
Having got the news of his selection for the Sri Lanka series from TV channels, Jadeja told HT, "It is a strange feeling, something different, to be able to represent the country in international cricket. I felt it would happen someday but to get directly into the team after a good Ranji season, is a pleasant surprise."
Jadeja was the best all-rounder in Ranji Trophy. With 739 runs, Jadeja was sixth in the list of runs-getters and with 42 scalps, was the highest wickettaker with Mumbai's Dhawal Kulkarni.
To be mentally strong at the international stage is Jadeja's aim. "I will work hard to create and maintain a good impression. I have to show more maturity and be mentally tough. Hard work will help me get there," said Jadeja, whose team Saurashtra lost in the Ranji semifinals.
During the Indian Premier League, Jadeja, as part of the Jaipur team, got an opportunity to interact with India internationals. But being part of the Indian dressing room is what he is looking forward to. "Sachin paaji, Viru, Dhoni and the rest are all big players. I will try to play good cricket and improve my knowledge by talking to them."
Jadeja said the confidence from his Ranji performance would stand him in good stead. As an U-19 player, he went to Sri Lanka for the junior World Cup and for a tri-nation series. "The conditions are similar to India and the heat and humidity is like in Chennai. I have a good idea of the Lankan conditions and the experience of having played there will help."