India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will be one of the crucial members of the team during the long UK tour which starts with the World Test Championship (WTC) final from June 18.
The 32-year-old will be making his first appearance for India since January 2021. Due to his time in rehab because of a fractured thumb, Jadeja did not feature in the home series versus England. However, in the IPL he put on quite a show to guide his team Chennai Super Kings to the second spot before the tournament was postponed.
However, there was a time when the star all-rounder was enduring a tough phase, which saw former India cricketer-turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar call Jadeja a 'bits and pieces' cricketer.
Jadeja, in an interview with the Indian Express opened up on his thought process during those times.
Two years after the incident when Jadeja was asked about the gesture, he said, 'Tab toh Bhatta garam tha, na! (The grill was hot, then!) I was searching for the commentary box. Then I thought, it must be somewhere there, only. And those who understand would know who I was targeting the celebration at! (laughs).'
'Honestly, those one-and-a-half years were filled with sleepless nights. Through that phase, I remember I would be up till 4-5 am. I would be thinking about what to do, how am I going to bounce back? I couldn't sleep. I would be lying down but jaaga hi rehta tha (was awake only),' Jadeja said.
'I was in the Test squad but not playing as we played a lot overseas. I wasn't playing ODIs. I wasn't playing domestic too as I would be travelling with the Indian team though not playing. I wasn't getting any opportunity to prove myself. I would keep thinking about how I am going to come back,' he added.
Waiting for a chance to prove his worth, Jadeja grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the fifth and the final Test during India's tour of England in 2018.
With India struggling at 160 for 6, Jadeja scored an unbeaten 86 in the first innings of the Oval Test in 2018 which in his own words 'changed everything for me' and he only went from strength to strength from then on.
Jadeja believes the knock in England gave him the confidence that his technique was good enough to score anywhere in the world, against any bowling attack.
Jadeja is part of the 20-man Indian squad that has been announced for the upcoming tour to England, where Virat Kohli and his unit will lock horns with New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton, scheduled to take place from June 18.
After which the team will play a five-match Test series against the hosts, starting from August 4.