Having provided his Captain and the fast bowling attack around him, the kind of control they would've been desperate for after losing the toss on one of the better batting surfaces of the series, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is very pleased with his efforts.
Jadeja, who is playing his first competitive game on the tour since bowling a bit against Essex before the first Test, bowled 24 overs for just 57 runs and picked up two crucial wickets too. It was an admirable overall performance on Day 1 of an overseas tour for a spinner.
One thing though, that seemed slightly missing, was his innately immaculate consistency with line and length and it is easily understandable why?
Jadeja, as stated above, was bowling for the first time in a match after a month on this tour. He doesn't feature in limited overs cricket for India anymore and this is where life isn't as easy to immediately find mojo despite being a highly professional superfit athlete, which Jadeja is.
"For me, the biggest thing is that I am playing for India and maybe someday if I do well, I will be back playing all three formats of the game soon enough. But my aim is to convert any opportunity I get into performance," said Jadeja during press conference at the end of play on Day 1.
"When you are playing just one format it is very tough because there is too much gap between matches and the experience (rhythm) you need to play at International level is less." he added, "So you have to keep motivating yourself, whenever I get a chance, like in this game, whatever ability I have, I have to give my best on the field."
While Jadeja is a top-class red ball spinner, he aims to be able to fit into the side as an all-rounder. He knows how batting ability helps you be a bit more attractive an option for your side when playing outside Asia.
He talked about this and said, "Whenever I get an opportunity to play for India, I will give my best in both aspects, batting and bowling. I want to become a trusted member of the team and I can fulfil the all-rounder slot well because I have done it before in the past. It isn't anything new to me. It is a matter of time."
"When you are going through a bad patch, you need to play more and more to regain your old form and touch. So it is possible the more I play international cricket, the better I will perform and will be able to make a comeback in all three formats," he added.
Praising the fast bowlers Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for their brilliant performance on Day1, Jadeja felt, "Everyone bowled well, especially when the partnership between Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook was on, our plan was to stop the boundaries. Our plan was that if they didn't get boundaries, they'd panic and play wrong shots and get out. And that's exactly what happened." and added, "From there we got six wickets for 50 or so. As a bowling department, that is our idea- not to concede runs. If there's a partnership, we will bowl in good areas. In England, if one wicket falls, you get two or three in a cluster. And that's what happened,"
"Shami bowled well. He was unlucky that he beat the bat so many times. He's bowling with good rhythm; he is generating good pace too. Shami, Bumrah and Ishant - all of them did well,"
Reiterating what he did well in support of the overall attack and his captain, Jadeja stressed, "This is a good wicket for batting. There's nothing much in it. As the game progresses, the pitch will get slower. It's looking slightly dry. But our three fast bowlers bowled really well. It's difficult when you're not getting any help from the wicket on day one. The ball you're actually trying to bowl. It's not coming out that way. I was just thinking that Shami, Ishant and Bumrah were bowling well from the other end. They were beating the bat non-stop."
"I was just thinking that I shouldn't concede boundaries, because if that pressure is released at one end, it becomes easy for the batsmen. We didn't get any wickets in the second session but we didn't concede many runs either. We came back well. Everyone did their jobs in the bowling department," he concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)