Jadeja is giving more than 100 per cent in comeback match: Saurashtra coach Odedra

Saurashtra coach Niraj Odedra lauded Jadeja’s impressive comeback and commitment to the team cause while staking his claim to make India’s Border Gavaskar Test squad against Australia.

Ravindra Jadeja of Sourashtra took seven wickets against Tamil Nadu during the Ranji Trophy Cricket Match between Tamil Nadu vs Saurashtra at MAC Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.

Ravindra Jadeja of Sourashtra took seven wickets against Tamil Nadu during the Ranji Trophy Cricket Match between Tamil Nadu vs Saurashtra at MAC Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Ragu R / The Hindu

Saurashtra coach Niraj Odedra lauded Jadeja’s impressive comeback and commitment to the team cause while staking his claim to make India’s Border Gavaskar Test squad against Australia.

Ravindra Jadeja’s comeback First-Class performance after a five-month injury layoff was bordering mediocrity for two-and-a-half days before the India all-rounder weaved a stellar seven-wicket haul (7 for 53) for Saurashtra in the second innings against Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

Jadeja had picked up only one wicket in 24 overs during Tamil Nadu’s first innings and managed 15 runs with the bat in his first essay.

However, on a tacky and turning surface at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, it only took Jadeja 103 deliveries to bundle Tamil Nadu for 133 in the second half of day three. Tamil Nadu’s 132-run first-innings lead was still good enough to set Saurashtra an imposing 266-run chase.

As the innings came to a close with Jadeja darting a delivery onto M. Siddharth’s stumps, the ‘CSK, CSK’ chants intensified from the spectators over the mid-wicket stands. Odd and perhaps fitting at the same time, the reassuring crowd ensured that the visiting captain took the ball from the umpires and waved at them before striding back towards the pavilion in style.

Saurashtra coach Niraj Odedra lauded Jadeja’s impressive comeback and commitment to the team cause while staking his claim to make India’s Border Gavaskar Test squad against Australia.

“Look at him how he was playing his cricket, I mean he was giving more than 100 per cent. The second wicket he took almost cleared all the clouds regarding his injury or whatever. It clears everything. He was right on the mark, and I think he looked supremely fit. We were expecting this type of performance from him. That is exactly what he has delivered,” Odedra said.

While Jadeja came on and off the field often at the start of a few sessions on days one and two, Odedra said he did not carry any niggles during the match. “For the first session, when you are back with any association, you usually practice light, and he knew that. He later did a proper extended session to regain his touch.

“I have been talking to the person - the NCA guy (Sudarshan VP) who has been with him. He told me in the morning that Jadeja seems to be in really good shape, and he is improving every day,” Odedra added.

While Jadeja bowled 24 overs in the first innings in multiple spells, the left-hander utilised the new ball in an extended spell in the second.

“That is how we have been using our bowlers. Short spells get the best out of you, but here the spinners can go up to 10 to 12 overs at a stretch. It was not surprising (Jadeja’s long spell with the new ball),” he said.

While Saurashtra has sealed its quarterfinal spot, a couple of underwhelming performances with the bat against Andhra and Tamil Nadu this week have prompted the coach to address caution.

“I think our batters need to push the game. They need to pull their socks up. We will need to work more on facing spinners in any conditions. We have only faced this issue in the last two games, and I think the toss has also played a crucial role. Winning the toss on a wicket like this plays a huge role,” he added.

Odedra remains confident that Saurashtra can pull through in the quarterfinals even if the team misses the services of stalwarts Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Jaydev Unadkat due to national commitments.

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