Ravindra Jadeja: 'I see myself as a proper all-rounder'

Ravindra Jadeja says he looks at himself as a "proper all-rounder" who tries to contribute with the bat and with the ball in the opportunities he gets.

Ravindra Jadeja scored 91 in India's first innings in the second Test of the Freedom Series against South Africa.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Ravindra Jadeja has said he's now a "proper all-rounder" who's confident of contributing at every opportunity he gets with the bat and with the ball.

Jadeja's three triple centuries for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy have long been a reference point for his ability with the bat, while his left-arm spin, particularly in Test cricket, has made him a match-winner for Virat Kohli-led India.

Jadeja's performances in one-day cricket have been fairly consistent since he came back into the side during the 2018 edition of Asia Cup, where Hardik Pandya picked up a lower-back injury.

During the 2019 World Cup, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar called Jadeja a "bits-and-pieces cricketer" in one-day cricket, while he assessed the 30-year-old as a "pure bowler" in Test cricket. Jadeja replied emphatically to that judgment with a 77 against New Zealand in the World Cup semifinal, giving India hope of achieving the target - in company with M.S. Dhoni - after India's top order had been dismissed cheaply.

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In an interview to bcci.tv ahead of the third day's play in the second Test between India and South Africa, Jadeja spoke about his evolution as a cricketer and his current role in the India Test side.

"I see myself as a proper all-rounder who can take any opportunity, it doesn't matter whether it's bowling or batting," Jadeja said when asked of his elevated role in the India Test side.

"I need to give everything whether I am bowling [or batting.] If I am bowling, I need to take wickets, and if I am batting, I need to score in every innings. So, I don't see whether I am a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder."

Jadeja attributed his growth to the opportunities he's been getting, with the India team management consistently promoting him up the batting order in Test matches this year, while he remains a key member of India's bowling attack.

"I can say that I'm getting better opportunities," Jadeja said. "If I'm batting at No. 6, I get long time to spend in the middle. Whenever I go into bat, I just look to spend some time and then I start to play my shots. That's helped me a lot."

Jadeja made 91 with the bat in India's first innings and took the wicket of Senuran Muthusamy, with the home team bowling out South Africa for 275 in its first innings.