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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'You learn something in cricket every day'

'You learn something in cricket every day'

July 12, 2017 22:16 IST

'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.'
Ravindra Jadeja on Ravi Shastri/Zaheer Khan, the Sri Lanka tour and if T20s will impact Test cricket.
Rediff.com's Harish Kotian listens in.

Ravindra Jadeja

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja, the No 1 bowler in Test cricket. Photograph: BCCI

Ravindra Jadeja believes the growing popularity of Twenty20 games won't affect the five-day game.

"Test cricket is accepted everywhere," the No 1 bowler in Test cricket said in Mumbai on Wednesday, July 12.

"If you go to a stadium in England, people have a special dress code to watch Test matches. They come dressed up, that's because they respect the game so much," Jadeja said, speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Castrol's 'Super Mechanic Contest'.

"T20 has its own place in cricket and so does Test cricket," he added.

Jadeja believes that T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League are the perfect platform for young players to showcase their potential.

He cited his own example when his impressive showing for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL in 2008 paved the way for him being fast-tracked into the Indian team a year later.

"The young players who come from Under-19 or players who don't get an opportunity elsewhere, they get a good platform in the IPL to prove themselves. If they perform well, then they can make it to the top," he added.

Ravindra Jadeja

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja during IPL 10. Photograph: BCCI

Mike Brearley, the former England captain, has called on the International Cricket Council to provide more context and support for Test cricket to prevent players from switching to lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

'My view is that not everything that could be done to preserve and encourage international, and especially Test, cricket has yet been done,' Brearley, the outgoing chairman of the Marylebone Cricket Club world cricket committee, wrote in a column for The Times.

'ICC is trying to make improvements to scheduling and to context. The countries need to make a big push for increased context, including proper competition through a Test championship,' the famously cerebral Brearley argued.

'They must create windows for Test cricket and be willing to try out all sorts of measures -- more day-night matches, lower gate charges in some places, offering spectators more and using every resource to publicise Test cricket and create stars,' Brearley wrote.

Jadeja believes that Twenty20 cricket has become a huge hit with fans because of the time involved -- three-and-a-half hours for a T20 game as compared to five days of a Test match.

"T20 has become the most popular version of cricket because in today's times everybody is busy," Jadeja felt.

"If batsmen take singles nowadays, then fans don't like it, they get bored; they enjoy watching fours and sixes only. That is why the fan following of T20 cricket has gone up," he added.

Discussing the coming tour of Sri Lanka, where India will play three Tests, five ODIs and a lone T20I, Jadeja said he is looking forward to perform away from home.

"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."

IMAGE: Jadeja with his wife Riva and daughter Nidhyana. Photograph: PTI

The 28-year-old Saurashtra player welcomed the appointments of Ravi Shastri as India's head coach and Zaheer Khan as bowling coach.

"The good thing is that whenever new experience is added to the team, it is good for us," he said.

"Hopefully, whoever new comes into 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 every day. I will try to learn from their experiences by talking to them," he said.

"It is very tough to play for India, considering where I come from," he said. "When I started playing cricket, we didn't have good facilities in Jamnagar, so I had to arrange everything myself."

"I used to prepare the wicket myself and then try to arrange for the money to purchase cricket balls for the match. I don't think these things happened to players in other cities -- that you had to yourself prepare the wicket or purchase the ball."

"Those things motive 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."

Returning to India after a long spell away from home, which included the ICC Champions Trophy and a limited overs series in the West Indies, he was delighted to see his daughter Nidhyana, who was born last month, for the first time in Mumbai.

"It is a special feeling. Everyone in the family is so happy. Sometimes when I go home, I get bored. But now I have a toy to play with; it will be a good time pass for me."

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com