Ravindra Jadeja has been the most consistent all-rounder for India in the recent times and with the Sri Lankan Test tour around the corner, he says he likes to perform when faced with challenges.
India are set to tour Sri Lanka later this month and Jadeja will be a key member of the team along with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Asked about the tour, he said, “I like to perform when there are challenges. In cricket when you get easy performances or easy wickets then it’s no fun, but when you have to fight and perform in challenging conditions then that feeling is something else.”
The left-handed batsman was speaking after unveiling the Castrol Super Mechanic Trophy.
Last night, the BCCI appointed Ravi Shastri as the head coach, Zaheer Khan as bowling coach and Rahul Dravid as the consultant for overseas Test tours.
“The good thing is that whatever new experience is added to the team, it is good for us. Hopefully, whoever new comes in the team, they will share their experiences and we will get to learn from them. Cricket is such a sport that you get to learn something from someone everyday. I will also try to learn from their experiences by talking to them,” said Jadeja when asked what he expects to learn from the trio.
The player, who played for the Gujarat Lions, said T20 was a good platform for youngsters.
“I think T20 is a good platform for youngsters. When I played in the IPL in 2008 for Rajasthan Royals, it was a good platform for me to showcase my talent and the selectors would notice me.
“The young players who come from Under-19 or players who don’t get opportunity elsewhere they get an opportunity in the IPL. If they perform well then they can make it to the top,” he said.
Jadeja, however, believed that Test cricket will survive in T20 age.
Walking down memory lane, Jadeja recalled how there were no good facilities during his initial days.
“It is very tough to play for India, especially considering where I come from. Jamnagar is a small city but cricketers have come from there before also.
“When I started cricket, we didn’t have good facilities in Jamnagar so I had to arrange everything myself if I had to play a match on Saturday or Sunday. I used to prepare the wicket myself and then try to arrange for the money to purchase the cricket balls for the match.
“I don’t think these things happened to the players in the other cities that you had to yourself prepare the wicket or purchase the ball,” he recalled.
“Those things motivate me a lot even now. My aim since the start was that I wanted to play in the blue jersey. I always wanted to play for India and when I used to see the team playing in blue, I also felt that I should be a part of the team and play for India,” he quipped.
Jadeja recalled the time when spin great Shane Warne described him as a “rockstar”, saying he did not know the meaning of the term.
“Then I didn’t know what rockstar meant. When I met Shane Warne for the first time, I didn’t know he was such a great bowler in Test cricket. He used to call me ‘rockstar’, and I used to wonder that I don’t sing any songs, nor do I do anything that I desreved to be called a rockstar.
“I just asked one of my friends why he is calling me a rockstar. He said that maybe because you put too much of zinc on your face (smiles)… I kept working hard on my game and kept improving my skills, whether it was bowling or batting.”
Meanwhile, Jadeja met his daughter Nidhyana for the first time today after returning from England and the West Indies.
“It was a special feeling. I don’t realise anything now but as I spend more time with the baby, then I will get more attached. It is a good thing for me and everyone in the family is so happy,” he said.