Donning a different role


The diminutive cricketer is largely known to make a telling impact with the bat in the lower middle-order but against Bangladesh, he let the ball talk to shift the balance of the game India’s way.

Handed the ball by skipper Virat Kohli as a gamble to change things up after Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim were on course to propelling Bangladesh to a huge total, the 32-year-old part-timer accounted for the two set batsmen. While Tamim and Mushfiqur were indeed guilty of underestimating Jadhav, the bowler cashed in on their over-confidence by luring them into their doom.

“It depends on when I get to bowl,” said the soft-spoken Jadhav. “Among the three fast bowlers if one has a bad day, to cover for that also I get bowling sometimes. Today (on Thursday), they were getting a boundary every over. So he (Kohli) told me he wants two-three overs without boundaries. That was the plan but the moment I began bowling, I felt they were itching to hit me. That is why I kept varying my pace to keep the pressure on. I read his mind perfectly.”

“Before this series, I’d taken six wickets and most of them are pure batsmen. It’s not like, I’m getting wickets of tail-enders. I have that confidence in my bowling. If a batsmen tries to score big shots against me, he’ll find it difficult. I have pace variations.”

Jadhav, who doesn’t bowl even in the ‘nets’ as that makes him ‘sore’, credited his tennis-ball cricket and a telepathic understanding with wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as reasons for his ability to steal wickets. “Since the time I’ve been in this team, I’ve been spending too much time with M S Dhoni and I try to learn as much as I can from him. He provides me all the knowledge he has. Even while bowling, you could see that by just looking at each other we get the bond. From eyes only we can read what he wants me to bowl. So I just try to bowl that delivery and most of the time, it works.”

Jadhav, who hasn’t been able to make major contributions with the bat thanks to the stellar form of the top-order, said India winning is all that matters. “It’s a nice feeling when you contribute to the team’s win. Today it was while bowling, very soon it will be while batting also. Every player is looking for opportunities to contribute in a winning way.”

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