For anyone, who has followed Jayant Yadav over the years, his maiden Test century won’t come as a surprise.
Brought into the Indian team primarily as an off-spinner, Haryana’s Yadav boasts of an impressive first class record with the bat -- having scored 1665 runs in 44 matches at an average of nearly 30, comprising of two centuries. With the ball too he has a very good record, claiming 125 wickets in 44 games and recently did well during India A’s tour of Australia where he took seven wickets in the two four-day unofficial Test matches.
And in this series, he has impressed everyone with his ability to dig in with the bat and play some vital knocks lower down the order in all the three Tests against England he has featured in so far.
On Sunday, Yadav registered his first century in Tests in just his third match, enroute to recording India’s best-ever eighth wicket stand of 241 runs with Virat Kohli, who hit his third double century.
He had already hit a half-century in the previous match at Mohali and in his debut Test -- the second match Visakhapatnam -- the right-hander had played two vital knocks of 35 and 27 not out.
With runs flowing so freely from his bat it was but natural that he would be asked if he would like to bat higher up in the order.
“I scored my double hundred at No. 9, I scored my first Test hundred at No. 9, I am happy at No. 9," he replied.
Yadav’s batting feats in domestic cricket include a career-best of 211 at No. 9 for Haryana against Karnataka in 2012, where he shared a record stand of 392 runs with Amit Mishra (202).
His second century for Haryana came at No. 4 when he hit 100 and put on 206 runs for the third wicket with Virender Sehwag (136) against Karnataka last year.
“I have always been a handy batsman, ever since started playing in junior cricket. But as I came up the ranks, I always wanted to build this side of my game and my Ranji Trophy team really helped me do it. Even though I was batting down, I had responsibility so taking that responsibility, you really grow as a all-rounder player, I would say a holistic development of a player,” he stated.
Yadav claimed that century was never on his mind when he came out to bat in the morning and he was only targeting getting past the fifty.
“To be very honest, when I came out to bat in the morning, I was just vying for the fifty because I was just 20 runs short. I just went with the flow and things just kept happening,” he said.
Despite having made a dream start to his Test career, with nine wickets and 221 runs in just his third game in the series, Yadav is not taking anything for granted.
“It is a journey, I just started the journey. There is always for improvement in all the three facets, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding.