Ravindra Jadeja grabbed the headlines on Day 2 of the first Test against West Indies after scoring his maiden Test century, and later was among the wickets as India reduced West Indies to 94 for six in 29 overs at stumps.
It took 37 Tests and 55 innings for Jadeja to finally notch up his maiden ton. The Indian all-rounder rejoiced the feat with his trademark sword celebration as India declared their first innings at 649/9. Jadeja had scored 86 and 90 in Test cricket previously but he could never cross the hurdle in 37 Tests and 140 ODIs that he has featured in.
Speaking about how he overcame his nerves to reach the three-figure mark, Jadeja told reporters: "It is very special because in the past I had gotten to 80s and 90s but was not able to convert. Today, I was not worried, just did not want to play any loose shot. I kept talking to Umesh and Shami and told myself that I needed to play till I score 100."
Getting his maiden international ton at his home ground was a cherry on the cake for Jadeja. The crowd acknowledged the local boy’s swashbuckling effort of five sixes and as many fours with a rousing applause. Even his teammates were on their feet cheering the southpaw with huge smiles on their faces.
Moved by the way things panned out for him, an emotional Ravindra Jadeja went on to dedicate his maiden Test ton to his late mother.
''I would like to dedicate this century to my mother. Though, she's not with us anymore, but she wanted to see me play for India one day and since this is a special moment for me, I would like to dedicate this 100 to her,'' he added.
Talking about the last one month when he did well in the only Test he played in England before making an ODI comeback, Jadeja sounded satisfied.
"When you are not playing consistently, there is pressure. You want to make every opportunity count. That is what I thought in England also. Batting and bowling in Asia Cup was also good. I just try to develop my game with every match. I have not played a lot in 2018. So, you just have to perform whenever you get the opportunity," Jadeja asserted.
When asked why he needs to prove himself even after a decade of international cricket, Jadeja came up with an amusing reply.
"Good you know that I have been playing for 10 years. I must have done something right if I have managed to play for that long. I don't know if you noticed that I did well in the 13 Tests we played at home the previous season," he remarked.
"My job is just to prove myself. Sometimes I miss out because of the team requirements. If there are more left handers in the opposition eleven, then an off-spinner is preferred, if more right-handers are there than I am preferred," Jadeja concluded.
(With PTI inputs)