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Ravindra Jadeja: “Shane Warne Gave Me A Huge Platform In IPL’s 1st Season”

Ravindra Jadeja was already an U-19 World Cup champion when he joined the Rajasthan Royals camp in the first edition of IPL back in 2008 but it was Shane Warne’s belief in the youngster’s ability that made him an instant hit among fans.

Ravindra Jadeja was already an U-19 World Cup champion when he joined the Rajasthan Royals camp in the first edition of IPL back in 2008 but it was Shane Warne’s belief in the youngster’s ability that made him an instant hit among fans. Royals won the first IPL and Jadeja did play his part, albeit as a finisher, slogging his way into Warne’s good books and was named ‘The Rockstar’. As the world mourned the shocking death of 52-year-old Warne in Thailand’s Koh Samui, Jadeja, it seemed, is still trying to fathom the reality of the tragedy that has hit millions of cricket fans hard.

“It was a shocking news. The moment I heard it, I was so sad and I wasn’t feeling well. I found it difficult to believe that this can be true,” Jadeja said when asked about his time spent with Warne.

When he first met Warne, it was more like a kid in a candy store and meeting a childhood hero.

“When I first met him in 2008, he was already a legend and I couldn’t believe that I would be playing alongside a player of Shane Warne’s stature,” said Jadeja after the second day’s play in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Ravindra Jadeja: "Shane Warne Gave Me A Huge Platform In IPL's 1st Season"

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“We were just coming out of our U-19s and to share the dressing room with Warne was a huge thing for youngsters like us. He gave me a huge platform and post U-19, it was a direct entry into the IPL,” said Jadeja, expressing his gratitude.

Warne’s death shows the fickle nature of life, he said.

“His death shows that there are no certainties in life. Anything can happen anytime and this kind of news suddenly shocks you to ‘what the hell is happening?’ I want to pray to Almighty that his soul rests in peace,” Jadeja said.

Pitch Offered Variable Bounce And Turn, So I Asked Team To Declare: Ravindra Jadeja

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test: Ravindra Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 175-run knock as India declared at 574 for eight on Day 2.

Ravindra Jadeja could have easily gone on to make a double hundred against Sri Lanka on Saturday but the Indian all-rounder sent a message asking for declaration as he wanted his side to exploit the variable bounce and turn on offer. Jadeja scored a career-best 175 in India’s 574 for 8 declared and Sri Lanka then were left tottering at 108 for 4 at the end of second day’s play. While there was a buzz that Jadeja should have been given a chance to go for a double, the cricketer insisted that it was an ideal time to declare giving opposition a session under difficult circumstances.

“I also told them that there is variable bounce and deliveries have started turning. So I sent a message that there is something on offer from the strip and I suggested that we should put them in to bat now itself.

“They were already tired fielding for nearly quarter to two days (five sessions),” Jadeja, who also picked up rival skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s wicket, said after second day’s play.

“Since they were tired, it was not easy to play the big shots straightaway and bat for long hours. So plan was to declare quickly and exploit the fatigue of the opposition batters,” he further explained.

In fact, the up and down nature of the track helped him remove Karunaratne, who has been a prolific performer in 2021 and a part of ICC’s Test Team of the Year.

“When I was batting, there were some deliveries that turned and some kept low. There was natural variation off the surface and that was the plan. To keep the ball on the stumps and if we keep it on stumps, it can go straight or also turn from the same spot, and that’s what happened.

“My first ball (to Karunaratne) turned and second ball I thought that I will bowl on the fourth stump and if it turns or stays low, there was always a chance of getting a wicket.” On his big hundred, Jadeja spoke about his mindset of trying to improve every time he plays for India.

“I look to improve my game every single time I play for India. When I get an opportunity to score runs, I look to implement that opportunity in performance and so yeah, all in all, I am very much happy,” he said.

While he has three triple hundreds for Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy, Jadeja has no issues batting at No.7 in the national set-up and also praised Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Shami, all of whom were involved in three hundred-plus stands.

“I used to bat at No.4 for Saurashtra so I had a lot of time to build my innings but here I bat No.7 but Rishabh, Ashwin and Shami all three supported me,” he said.

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