I did not know the meaning of rockstar, says Jadeja

“Then I didn’t know what rockstar meant. When I met Shane Warne for the first time, I didn’t know he was such a great bowler in Test cricket. He used to call me ‘rockstar’, and I used to wonder that I don’t sing songs, nor do I do anything …then why he’s calling me rockstar?”

Ravindra Jadeja (left) during an event in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  Special Arrangement

A number of times during the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season in 2008, Shane Warne made bold and brave statemens that Ravindra Jadeja would be the ‘future rockstar’ of Indian cricket. It’s been a decade since the ace Australian leg spinner, excited and thrilled by Jadeja’s remarkable fielding and catching abilities in the deep for Rajasthan Royals, predicted a bright future.

On Wednesday, the 28 year left arm spinner-allrounder from Jamnagar, leading the ICC Test bowling rankings with 142 wickets, was asked if he has reached a stage in his career to be called a rockstar. Jadeja, who unveiled the Castrol Super Mechanic Contest said: “Then I didn’t know what rockstar meant. When I met Shane Warne for the first time, I didn’t know he was such a great bowler in Test cricket. He used to call me ‘rockstar’, and I used to wonder that I don’t sing songs, nor do I do anything …then why he’s calling me rockstar? I just asked one of my friends why he is calling me ‘rockstar.’’ He said that was probably because I put too much zinc on my face. Well, all I can say is I kept working hard on my game and kept improving my skills, whether it was bowling or batting.’’

Jadeja has nothing to show for in ODI matches since the 2015 World Cup including the recent ICC Champions Trophy in England in the two matches he played against the West Indies, but it’s the men in blue which appealed to him the most and he yearned to play for. “Those things motive me a lot even now. My aim since the start was that I wanted to play in the blue jersey. I always wanted to play for India and when I used to see the team playing in blue, I also felt that I should be a part of the team and play for India.’’

The Saurashtra all-rounder responded with a smart answer when asked about the new coaching staff announced by the BCCI on Tuesday. “The good thing is that whatever new experience is added to the team, it is good for us. Hopefully whoever new comes in the team, they will share their experiences and we will get to learn from them. Cricket is such a sport that you get to learn something from someone everyday. I will also try to learn from their experiences by talking to them.’’

Jadeja also talked about his early days. “It is very tough to play for India, especially considering where I come from. Jamnagar is a small city, but cricketers have come from there before also. When I started cricket, we didn’t have good facilities, so I had to arrange everything myself, if I had to play a match on Saturday or Sunday. I used to prepare the wicket myself and then try to arrange for money to purchase cricket balls for the match. I don’t think these things happened to players in other cities. So that was the motivation for me to work hard and whatever challenges I faced I took it in a positive way and looked to do well.’’

When asked about becoming father to a baby girl he said: “It was a special feeling. I don’t realise anything now, but as I spend more time with the baby, then I will get more attached. It is a good thing for me and everyone in the family is so happy. Sometimes when I go home, I get bored so now I have a ‘khilona” to play with now, it will be a good time pass for me.’’

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