CHENNAI: Confidence is something so often associated with bold and aggressive batsmen. Even when they speak, they often use the word confidence — ‘my skipper and coach had the confidence in me’ has become a cliché. Even when things don’t seem to go their way, pundits quite often pass their judgment, ‘how low the confidence is at the moment.’ For Kedar Jadhav, it is the same ‘confidence’ that has earned him a maiden call-up to Team India.
That Jadhav said he was not surprised to find his name for the Bangladesh tour didn’t come out of arrogance. He knew the reward for scoring 1,223 runs in the previous Ranji season will come soon, especially for guiding a team like Maharashtra to the final. But did the fact that playing for Maharashtra, traditionally an under-performing state, hinder his chances? “One needs to have the talent to perform. As long as talent is there, it doesn’t matter where you come from. And if you show consistency and use maximum use of that talent then the rest will be taken care off,” Jadhav said. “I have been playing well in domestic cricket and I did play in couple of A tours. So I knew I was on the right track.”
The right-handed batsman might not have been knocking the door for long, but a close look at his first-class career will show how Jadhav has slowly graduated from domestic cricket to A tours and now to the national colours. He had been making runs, albeit without much hype, and whenever he had been presented with an opportunity he has grabbed those. “Viru paaji was my idol growing up. And whenever I spoke to him, he always told me to bat the way I’m comfortable with, no matter who says what. During the 2012-13 season, I got out a lot of times going for big strokes. So I decided to cut off the airy strokes, and once I started playing more shots through the ground runs started to come, ” said Jadhav, who has played alongside Virender Sehwag with Delhi Daredevils.
Though the Bangladesh tour is a short one featuring three ODIs, Jadhav can go into the series knowing that any significant contribution will put him in contention for a middle-order berth. With the World Cup just eight months away and with Yuvraj Singh sidelined, a couple of middle-order slots are still up for grabs. That he has a List-A strike rate of 104.91 in 50 matches shows that Jadhav can be used as an enforcer in the middle-order. “I’m just looking forward to performing in Bangladesh and bat wherever my team management wants me to. I’m ready to adjust because the middle-order is so packed. I’ve to be realistic.”