Upbeat Jadeja to miss IPL match against Mumbai

Jadeja — who will not be seen in action against Mumbai Indians on Saturday because of his marriage to Rivaba Solanki on April 17 — is in an upbeat mood having taken crucial wickets and contributed to the Lions’ victories.

Ravindra Jadeja picked up the wickets of Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh against Rising Pune Supergiants on Thursday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Turning out for Gujarat Lions for the first time at home on Thursday against Rising Pune Supergiants, Saurashtra’s ‘rock star’ cricketer, Ravindra Jadeja accounted for the quick dismissals of Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh.

Jadeja — who will not be seen in action against Mumbai Indians on Saturday because of his marriage to Rivaba Solanki on April 17 — is in an upbeat mood having taken crucial wickets and contributed to the Lions’ victories.

“There is no secret. I practise as much as possible in the nets. I try to be as accurate (at nets) as possible because when we are trapped in a pressure game, the idea is to make sure that my deliveries are accurate.

“Once the ball got old, it was holding on a bit off the wicket. Rainabhai asked me, tu dalega kya? (will you bowl) and I said, “yes”. There were three right-handers, Mahibhai, Smith and Mitchell Marsh. So, I thought since its gripping off the wicket, I could mix it all. We didn’t have much fast bowling options and Bravo anyway would have bowled the final over,’’ said Jadeja at the post-match press conference.

Jadeja vs Smith in IPL: 4-0

Jadeja has now dismissed Australian captain Smith four times in an IPL match, as many times as Shane Watson. “When we played in the 2015 World Cup against Australia, our plan was to bowl outside the off stump to Smithy, because he loves to step out and play his shots through midwicket. That’s why the plan to bowl outside the off stump as much as I can,’’ said Jadeja.

“The IPL is happening at Rajkot for the first time. It’s not a big centre like Mumbai and Bengaluru. People are getting a good cricket environment with all big stars coming to play. This is a new thing for the people of Rajkot. As far as expectations of me go, I think the cheering I get makes me positive — I am not alone, everybody is with me.

“When we saw old CSK friends, it looked like we were playing a practice game. It was healthy competition and a good contest.’’