MS Dhoni's assurance that Ravindra Jadeja will be provided greater batting opportunities at Chennai Super Kings during the upcoming IPL has led to the India allrounder focusing more on his middle-order batting. The results of such efforts were visible in his second List A hundred, which helped Saurashtra chase down 330 against Jharkhand in a Vijay Hazare Trophy match in Secunderabad on Sunday.
"Mahi bhai [Dhoni] told me that I will get batting opportunities in the IPL this year," Jadeja told The New Indian Express. "He said that I have the ability of a proper batsman, and I am not the flash in the pan type of batsman. And I should think like that. It was really encouraging for me. So, I am concentrating more on the batting aspect of my game and trying to get used to playing the anchor role.
"I am focusing more on my batting now. I do not want to be a player who is known for hitting those 20-odd runs. I want to play the anchor role, just like I did today. The pain was unbearable some times while playing certain shots. But this was really important for my self confidence. It is morale boosting. To chase the target under the circumstances is really special for me."
Coming into bat at No.4, Jadeja hit an unbeaten 113 off 116 balls, including seven fours and four sixes, to set up Saurashtra's four-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. While Jadeja hasn't had a great run in the tournament so far, this innings was "morale boosting" for the manner in which he battled a side strain, which had restricted him to bowling only two overs.
Jadeja, 29, last played a limited-overs international in July last year, and has since found himself out of the national side following the emergence of wristspinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. India's bowling coach B Arun, however, maintained both Jadeja and R Ashwin were not out of contention for the 2019 World Cup.
Jadeja, though, has endured a barren run with the ball - his stronger suit. He has gone wicketless in each of the four matches he has bowled in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Jadeja, however, said he was satisfied with his bowling form. "If I am satisfied with the way I have bowled, I do not think much about other things. If I am executing my plans, I am happy," he said.
"If I get wickets owing to mistakes of batsmen, I am not satisfied from the inside. If I think I have done the things I wanted to do, like varying the pace, I am content with that. It [pace variation] is the most important thing. I am trying to do that. I am using different angles to bowl."