On Thursday, Ravindra Jadeja put in the hard yards ahead of the Chennai Super Kings’ match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede.
He followed up a strenuous fielding drill with a long stint at the nets. After initial jitters, the batsman began to time the ball sweetly. One such hit smacked the press box protective glass, located high in the stands.
The 26-year-old will be hoping what he achieved at the nets translates on to the field. It hasn’t been a pleasant ride for Jadeja the past season. The support though has not waned. Be it India or CSK, Jadeja has been in demand.
Despite nagging injury concerns, he was included in India’s squad for the World Cup. With just 57 runs, Jadeja earned few admirers.
In fact, after the group stage, even captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had voiced his concern over Jadeja’s lack of form.
“He needs to improve and step up. We have a lot of faith in him,” Dhoni had said.
The talk failed to motivate the batsman, whose highest score in the tournament was an unbeaten 23 against Bangladesh in the quarterfinals.
For someone who has scored three triple centuries in a Ranji Trophy season, more is expected.
Playing for the Chennai Super Kings, the change in format has not helped. In the first two games, he got 17 and a duck.
In a tournament which paves the way for big hitters to shine, the IPL provides the ideal platform to regain form, and Jadeja would look to make the most of the opportunity.