Jadhav: ‘Dhoni trusted my bowling abilities’

Kedar Jadhav has had to wait a long time to make his international debut. But the 31-year old is now making up for the late-start to his career with his all-round abilities.

"After the first game (against New Zealand), where I took two wickets, I became more confident in bowling. From then on it was about taking the responsibility from part-time to allrounder role."   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Kedar Jadhav has had to wait a long time to make his international debut. But the 31-year old is now making up for the late-start to his career with his all-round abilities. On Monday, on the sidelines of the Ranji game against Assam, Jadhav spoke about his multi-tasking ability, his role in the national side and more. Edited excerpts:

Question: You have not bowled a lot in domestic cricket. So whose idea was it to get you to bowl in the ODIs?

Answer: Obviously it was MS Dhoni’s decision to bowl me. After the first game (against New Zealand), where I took two wickets, I became more confident in bowling. From then on it was about taking the responsibility from part-time to allrounder role. I enjoyed bowling at that level. It’s something which I have to keep working on.

You have also kept wickets in IPL. How did you learn these skills?

I have played a lot of gully cricket (tennis ball) where I used to play as a professional in Pune. If you play as a pro, you are expected to do everything. Once your bowling quota is over, you have to go and keep. That is where I have learnt all the skills.

Once I started playing professional cricket and you get out early, you don’t have anything to do the same day. Instead of sitting and batting again at the nets, you bowl to some other batsmen or keep wickets trying different things. You enjoy as well learn every day. It was around 2010-2011 during a club game I got bored. I asked my keeper to give me the gloves and I got two or three catches. That’s how I began keeping. When I told my IPL franchisee that I can also keep, they saw me in a practice game and was happy.

Do you think you can be the finisher for the national side?

I can be. For the last two to three years whenever I have played in India A games, the selectors have always wanted me to bat at five or six, which is a finisher’s kind of role. So I’m used to it and obviously in the national side also now I’m batting at six. It suits my style as to go and play my shots. Obviously there will be pressure while chasing. But that’s part and parcel of the game and I’m enjoying whenever I have got opportunities.

Your debut came a bit late. Did you at any point think you may not play and what was the turning point in your career?

I never thought that I wouldn’t be playing for the country. But one thing I knew in my life was I never got anything very quickly or easily. But once I got it, it hasn’t gone away from me. It is not just about playing but winning games for the country. The 2013-2014 season where I scored 1,200 runs is when I felt I would get my chance.