Ravindra Jadeja said on Saturday that despite not being eliminated on 175, he suggested team management declare ahead of Tea on Day 2 of Test 1 against Sri Lanka. Jadeja had the opportunity to hit his first double hundred but India declared after a 103 run partnership with 574/8 for the 9th wicket at Mohali.
Jadeja said he noticed that the pitch had variable bounces and it was a nice opportunity to get the tired Sri Lankan batters batting and take early wickets.
In particular, TV cameras captured Captain Rohit Sharma having a long chat with Kuldeep Yadav, who was sent to deliver a message to Jadeja before making the explanation call.
While there were rumors Jadeja should have been given a double chance, the cricketer insisted it was an ideal time to declare he would give the opposition a session in difficult circumstances.
“I also told them there is a variable jump and deliveries have started to rotate. So I sent a message that something was being offered from the strip and I suggested that now we should use them to hit ourselves,” Jadeja said.
“They were already tired of playing almost a quarter to two days (five sessions),” said Jadeja, who also picked up the wicket of rival skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, after the second day of play.
“Because they were tired, it wasn’t easy to play the big hitters straight away and bat for hours. So the plan was to explain quickly and take advantage of the opposing batsmen’s tiredness,” he added.
Jadeja broke Kapil Dev’s record for highest Test score while batting at No. 7 for India. The all-rounder achieved its highest test result of 175.
Jadeja then returned with the ball to take the crucial wicket from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne. Jadeja’s 2nd throw turned square from well outside the left-hander’s branch to hit his pads in a line, warranting the all-rounder’s demand for an early explanation.
JADEJA ON KARUNRATNE RELEASE
“When I hit there were some deliveries turning and others staying low. There was natural variation from the surface and that was the plan. To keep the ball on the stumps, and when we keep it on the stumps, it can go straight or it can also turn from the same spot, and that’s what happened.
“My first ball (to Karunaratne) turned and on the second ball I thought I’d roll onto the fourth stump and if it turns or stays low there was always a chance of getting a wicket.”
On his big hundred, Jadeja spoke about his attitude to improve every time he plays for India.
“I try to improve my game every time I play for India. Whenever I get an opportunity to score runs, I try to convert that opportunity into my performance and yes, all in all I’m very happy,” said he.
Sri Lanka was reduced to 108/4 on stumps on Day 2 as R Ashwin, Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah opened their accounts on what appeared to be a still-good face.