Ravindra Jadeja’s wit to the fore

Jadeja, whose terrific all-round effort led India to victory over England in the fifth and final Test at Chennai on Tuesday, was named the brand ambassador of sportswear company ‘Zeven’ at a function in the city.

“We recently won an away Test series in the West Indies. We’re ready for any challenge,” Ravindra Jadeja said.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

With a dash of wit and humour, Ravindra Jadeja livened up an otherwise tedious affair here on Wednesday.

Jadeja, whose terrific all-round effort led India to victory over England in the fifth and final Test at Chennai on Tuesday, was named the brand ambassador of sportswear company ‘Zeven’ at a function in the city.

The star athlete was reticent to talk about cricket matters, and asked media persons to stick to questions relating to his association with the brand.

The cornered scribes attempted to get Jadeja’s views on the England series, but to little avail. “The series is over. It is in the past now. Let us focus on today and talk about why I am here,” Jadeja said.

One exasperated reporter asked the India international to reveal the financial details of this latest contract, to which Jadeja replied, “What is your salary, can you tell me?” His query was met with a ready answer, but the southpaw laughed it off and passed the microphone to the master of ceremonies.

The 28-year-old opened up when asked if customised sports equipment helped him perform better on the field.

Was there ever a time when he had to make do with whatever was on offer? “Yes. Before I played international cricket, I would wear other people’s shoes. Kaheen se bhi jugaad ho jaye (I had to find a solution and adjust in any way possible),” he said, to laughter from the crowd.

He did speak about the Indian team, albeit briefly and without much substance. The national side has established its dominance in home conditions, shutting England out 4-0 in the five-match Test series.

Before this, India had blanked New Zealand 3-0. Jadeja believed that the unit has what it takes to do well abroad as well. “The players have the confidence to perform in any part of the world, not just in India.

“We recently won an away Test series in the West Indies. We’re ready for any challenge,” he said.

The event came to a close when one ambitious television journalist attempted to leave the venue with at least one newsworthy quote.

Jadeja was questioned on the government’s demonetisation move. The experienced cricketer picked the googly, shouldered arms and called time on the day’s play.