Having performed commendably at home in recent years, India will have to start winning away from home to change the perception of fans and Ravindra Jadeja is very much aware of it . Just like many of his team-mates the left-arm spinner also knows that victories at home counts for little unless the team starts winning overseas and that’s what is the goal of this current Indian team as they get ready for the four match Test series against the West Indies.
“Nowadays, all people care about is how much you have won overseas in Tests and ODIs. So our focus is on that and we want to win here in the West Indies,” Jadeja, who made a case for his selection with figures of 3/16, said at post-match press conference.
“Everyone says that we win easily in India, so we want to change that thinking. We are a young side and each one of us is eager to win in overseas conditions. Fitness and energy is good in this side and the preparation has been good. We are looking forward to winning this Test series in the West Indies.”
Jadeja admitted that it is good to be a part of the longest format of the game, having last played five-day matches at home against South Africa.
“It feels good to be playing in the longer format after a long time. You have to be match and also fit for bowling, and I have been working on it. You have to be fit enough to be able to bowl 15-20 overs in a day.
“The way I bowled today felt like I am building towards it and getting back to my full fitness. The wicket was turning slow but there was good bounce available for us. So I was trying to bowl as per my line and length,” he added.
Like Ashwin, the left-arm spinner is also bracing up for tough humid conditions in the Caribbean islands.
“Mentally, we have to be prepared about hot and humid conditions here. But they are similar to the ones we experience when playing in the Indian summer. So our focus is on thinking about match situations and match conditions, for example when there are long partnerships.
“We have bowled as a unit today and we haven’t given away too many runs, which has been our main focus. As a bowling attack, our aim is to bowl three consecutive maiden overs and put pressure on the batsmen,” he added.
As spin troika, the duo have come together well.
“I think we are gelling well as a spin trio,” said Jadeja, of his partnership with Ashwin and Mishra.
“All of us have different styles and different bowling speeds. I am a left-arm spinner, Ashwin has off-breaks and Mishra has his leg spin. So that’s a very good thing. Our variations are quite potent and it is not easy for the batsmen to judge three different spinners at the same time and play in three different ways.
“I think we will test the West Indies’ batsmen in spinning conditions. I don’t know what the combination of the team will be, but I am certainly looking forward to bowling with them as a spin unit.”
This series will be Anil Kumble’s first assignment as the Indian coach and he has already started making an impression on the young team.
“He has told me to work on my strengths. We have had a long chat about bowling in these conditions, about how wickets might not come easily and it is important to keep up the focus and body language when that happens.
“It is important to look more energetic and be ready to bowl 12-15 overs. I have done that in Ranji Trophy and I am used to bowling longer spells, and I am looking to do the same thing here as well,” he further said.
Anil Kumble’s presence in the dressing room is also proving to be helpful.
“It is very important that he is with us. He has been a legend for Indian cricket and he has done well in both formats. So all we want to do is talk to him about his experience and learn from him,” Jadeja concluded.