Jadhav: I want to play for India across all formats

"I don’t want to change as a person and I will never," says the 31-year-old Jadhav, who was felicitated at a function organised by the Pune Union of Working Journalists (PUWJ) at the Patrakar Sangh.

Kedar Jadhav with the memento presented to him by the Pune Union of Working Journalists.

Kedar Jadhav does not want to be in the euphoric mood for too long following his resounding success in the three-match ODI series against England in which he was declared the 'Man of the Series'.

A late arrival in the big league of Indian cricket, the 31-year-old right hander bashed the England bowlers for a 76-ball 120 at the Gahunje village home ground, followed by a cameo in Cuttack and finished with a 75-ball 90 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. He has received handsome praise from his captain Virat Kohli and many other pundits.

At a felicitation function organised by the Pune Union of Working Journalists (PUWJ) at the Patrakar Sangh on Friday, Jadhav fielded questions from the media and also from a large number of journalism students, with candour and humour. But first and foremost he said: "I don’t want to be stuck in the celebratory mood for too long. I want to leave the past quickly, stay in the present, work hard and show that I am more hungry for success. The ICC Champions Trophy is a good four months away, so I just want to spend quality time with family and friends and do the routine training and practice sessions."

It has taken 27 months for the attacking Maharashtra batsman to impress his captain, team and the fans in equal measure. "It was a high scoring series played with high intensity throughout the three matches. The opposition, in comparison with the series in Zimbabwe (2015), was much better and hence being chosen for the Man of the Series was something special. I did not make the most of the chances against New Zealand, but the batting and bowling efforts gave me confidence," said Jadhav.

Jadhav responded with a wry smile when a student asked him why he could not finish off the match after hitting a six and four in the last over in Kolkata. "Easy! he quipped. Nothing is easy. It’s just that the two deliveries were sent down the same way. It was just a question of reacting to the situation. When I got out, probably I was thinking till the delivery was sent down; that was wrong."

He categorically stated that a player like him was not ignored by the national selectors when he showed form even before the 2014 season. "I was not ready then; I had faults. When I became an accomplished batsman they gave me opportunities at the right time and I have justified my selection. I would like to play for India across all formats, but I am not anxious. I want to express as Kedar Jadhav, not like someone else," he said.

Jadhav has played under Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli and he’s in awe of both. "You are inspired just being with them. You see Virat prepare and you are inspired. I think I became more matured after seeing the way Dhoni deal with pressure."

Kohli had praised Jadhav for the way he executed some shots in the course of his second ODI century at Gahunje. "I think it was the two big shots off the back foot off Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, directed between mid-off and cover that Virat was referring to. Instead of a slog, I just decided to play with a straight bat."

Finally, what will he tell his Maharashtra team-mates? "Never worry about failure, play fearless cricket, be consistent."

Jadhav has suddenly become a local hero after the two big knocks and the Man of the Series award. "Small changes have happened after the two knocks. I don’t want to change as a person and I will never. I would like to be with friends and family and go to Vaishali (a popular restaurant at the Fergusson College Road). My friend said we should take a chance and find a place at a corner."