One of India’s most crucial all-formats player, Ravindra Jadeja has admitted that he has improved his training methods realising that power was important in the T20s. While opening up on the initial struggle in his career, Jadeja stressed the importance of confidence in changing his career.
As things stand, Ravindra Jadeja is arguably the most important player across all formats in the Indian cricket team. However, it wasn’t the case several years back, when the all-rounder was left out of the squad following the emergence of Hardik Pandya. Not only did Pandya’s emergence force Jadeja to improve his batting, it also allowed him to realise his weak points in the format.
In an interview with the Indian Express, the left-arm all-rounder admitted that he had improved his training methods after realising that power was as important as timing in the shortest format. Alongside that, he also added that he put in a lot of work on overall strength, upper body and shoulder without missing a single practise session during the 2020 edition of the IPL.
“I improved my training methods as I realized in T20 I needed power apart from the timing. Timing comes in handy when you are not in a rush for runs, like in Tests. I increased my training before that season, worked a lot on overall strength, upper body, and shoulder. There were one-and-half months of practice before that 2020 season and I didn’t miss even a day even if it was optional,” Jadeja told the Indian Express.
However, it wasn’t all glory for the all-rounder, who revealed that he suffered from sleepless nights during the cricketing phase where he didn’t play for India. He also added that his mind always wandered around how to prove a point and get back into the setup.
“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?,” he added.
“I couldn’t sleep. I would be lying down but jaaga hi rehta tha (was awake only). 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.”
Luckily for Jadeja, the fifth Test against England at The Oval in 2018 came as a life-saviour, with him picking a four-wicket haul in the first innings of the Test. It didn’t stop there - the all-rounder took the confidence level from the bowling and echoed it with his batting performance, scoring an unbeaten 86, batting with Hanuma Vihari and the tail to take India to 292 from 160.
“That Test changed everything for me. Poora (complete) game. My performance, my confidence, everything. When you score in English conditions against the best bowling attack, it greatly impacts your confidence. It makes you feel your technique is good enough to score anywhere in the world. Later, Hardik Pandya got injured and I made my ODI comeback. From then on, my game has been going well, touchwood.”
However, it wasn’t it all, in the 2019 World Cup, having been picked in the game against New Zealand in the semi-final, Jadeja came right to the fore with a heroic showing. While India lost the semi-final marginally, his performance echoed the trust and faith shown by the management, which only went on to increase his confidence. Jadeja insisted that it was the confidence factor that always allows him to concentrate on his game.
“Absolutely. I have always performed well in all formats in England. Ahead of the upcoming tour, if I think back on what I did there last, the 2019 World Cup would spring to mind. Particularly, the semi-final knock against New Zealand. Even as I think about it, my confidence increases as I know chalo, I have performed in a big match last time. If you take a Test match, I would think about that Oval Test. Personally, I am calm. I know I don’t have to try anything different. Just continue what I did in the IPL now; same routine, same method, just continue.”