Was surreal playing with Warne, shocked to learn of his passing, says Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja says sharing the dressing room with Shane Warne in 2008 at Rajasthan Royals was special.

Ravindra Jadeja looks up, celebrating his century against Sri Lanka in the first test.   -  PTI

Ravindra Jadeja was still in his teens when he played the Indian Premier League for the first time, in 2008 for Rajasthan Royals. He was guided and encouraged by Shane Warne, who captained the team that season and nicknamed him ‘rockstar’.

Jadeja says he was shocked to learn of Warne’s passing.

“When I learnt of Warne’s passing, I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t feel true,” he told reporters at the end of day two at Mohali on Saturday.

“In 2008, when I met him for the first time, he was such a big name; I couldn’t believe that I was going to play with him. I had come to the Rajasthan Royals squad after playing for the India U-19 team, so to share the dressing room with him was a big deal for me. He handed me a very good platform, because I was getting to play the IPL straightaway after playing for the national U-19 team, and so it felt good.”

Shane Warne in action for Rajasthan Royals, a team Ravindra Jadeja was part of, where he had received praises from the Australian great.   -  THE HINDU

 

“The sad reality is that there’s no certainty in life. Anything can happen. It’s shocking to get such news. We are praying for his soul to rest in peace,” he said.

I’m taking my time and trying to keep myself relaxed’

Jadeja today played an expert innings of 175 (unbeaten) that took India to a massive 574 for 8 declared. It was nicely paced: he played patiently at first, and after lunch, went berserk. He said his approach of trying to improve all the time and of keeping himself relaxed during tough situations helped.

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“There is a need to change the mindset for international cricket, and that is what I’m doing. I’m taking my time and trying to keep myself relaxed, whatever the situation may be. That’s the plus point – I keep myself calm, so that my abilities are better harnessed and my stroke-making abilities are better expressed,” he said.

The decision to go after Sri Lanka’s bowlers was prompted by the need to score quickly so India could declare before the close of the day’s play and have a go at the tired opposition batters.

Jadeja played an expert innings of 175 (unbeaten) that took India to a massive 574 for 8 declared.   -  PTI

 

“I was getting messages from the dressing room and I was also telling them that we can ask Sri Lanka to bat. When I was batting, the ball was keeping up and down, and the ball had started to turn. I told them there’s something happening on the wicket, so we can have Sri Lanka bat because they are fielding for the best part of two days and are tired. It’s not easy to start hitting from ball one,” he said.

And he reaped his rewards too, dismissing Dimuth Karunaratne by a massive off-break for 28.

“When I was batting, some of the deliveries were keeping low. There was natural variation in the wicket. The plan was to keep the ball within the stumps, because if we kept the ball within the stumps, some of the deliveries could turn, and others could go straight. The delivery before that one had turned, and that was close, so I planned to keep it in within the third or the fourth stump. There existed the possibility of the ball hitting the stumps as well,” he elaborated.

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