You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Ravindra Jadeja the latest sensation of the Indian Cricket. He is so good that even though not a regular bowler he is the world number one bowler in the current ICC ODI players ranking. One of the most expensive player in the Indian Premier League who is worth 4.37 crore for the Chennai Super Kings. And a handy all-rounder for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the national squad. Mandate catch up with the champ!
Q. Did you always wanted to be a cricketer?
A. Yes, I started playing cricket since I was 8 years old and all I wanted was to play for India. Above that my family always supported me, they made sure that I get up early, go for practice every day and encouraged me to work harder for it. Today, if you ask me what I would have been if not a cricketer I have no clue. (Laughs) Because playing cricket is what I have been doing and this is all I know to do.
Q. Share us your experience when you first played for India?
A. I made my debut in February 8, 2009 in Colombo against Sri Lanka. I was so nervous that I couldn’t feel the excitement of playing my first match for the country. I couldn’t talk to anybody or go ask for suggestion or advice from the seniors. I was just sitting in the chair waiting for my chance but I had a simple plan, just to go out and play my natural game. (He scored 60* though India lost the match)
Q. What is your best achievement till now as a cricketer and is there anything you want to achieve?
A. Being a Test-cricketer is an achievement itself. Every cricketer’s dream is to represent his country in a Test match and many do not get this chance. The day I played my first Test match for India was my “Dream Day.”
I don’t want to go that much into future but one thing is for sure that all I want to do is keep playing for the country as long as I can. That’s my only goal right now!
Q. Any player that you look up to as your inspiration?
A. Yuvraj Singh, he is my favorite cricketer. In my initial days I used to watch his every move, the way he fields, bowls, and bat. And it was a wonderful experience when I got to play with my hero, somebody who I really admire.
Q. According to you which is the toughest opponent team and player?
A. I think it will be South-Africans, they have the power house of good players in all the departments, look at their bowling line-up, fielding or batting. So for me they are the toughest team to defeat right now in the world of cricket.
Among the players is AB de Villers, a batsman who can change the course of the game. That’s why whenever he comes to bat I try to bowl him at specific areas and give less room for him to score. He got all the techniques and is very innovative in hitting the ball wherever he wants to.
Q. Is it better to be a specialist bowler or batsman or an all rounder like you?
A. In order to excel and to survive you need to have both the skills. Above that one has to be very active to save runs by some good fielding. The level has become so high that there are lots of things that a skipper looks for in a player. So an all rounder is a key player for the team.
Q. With time is there any change in the way cricket is played?
A. Nowadays techniques have changed, concentration points have shifted, every batsman is looking for more and more runs. So it’s very tough to bowl.
Q. How do you keep yourself fit?
A. It is not a rocket science but hard work, running and hitting the gym regularly keeps me fit.
Q. These days a player plays so many matches for so many teams and different formats, don’t you get confused?
A. Yes we do play for our franchises, then for regions and then for the country. But all we need to do is adjust our strategies accordingly, against whom and with whom we are playing. At the end of the day it all sums up to playing a good cricket, that’s it!
Q. What really happened between you and Suresh Raina (on-field spat) and how are things now?
A. These things happen if you are playing with your full spirit giving your 100% on the field. It wasn’t a serious one though. Everything is cool, it’s normal now. Things were sorted out immediately after all we are good friends and all we wanted was to win.
Q. Lots of money are pouring into cricket, do you think this adds extra pressure on the players?
A. Not really, but yeah sometimes it does when you are playing for your franchise since they have spent money on you. But when I go into the ground I don’t think about the money but my team whom I am playing for. The main thing one should or all the players should understand is that money will come automatically if you are performing and winning matches.
Q. What is your opinion on match fixing?
A. All I want to say is that if you play cricket well then gradually rewards will follow and if you don’t, you won’t get anything. So one must focus on sharpening their skills and as they say “There is no short cut to success.”
Q. What is the role of a captain in a team and how is yours?
A. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a good captain above that he’s got a great cricketing brain. He knows and understands all the ten players in and out, how they play, their plus points, their weak points, and then assimilating everything he shapes a strong team. He is called the captain cool not just like that; he is indeed calm even if we lose a match. (Laughs)
Q. During recently concluded IPL you were compared with the superstar Rajnikanth and given the title Sir…
A. (Giggles) That was an interesting episode! Cricket is a very high intensity game, especially IPL. So it is good to have some fun in between like that if it is not hurting anybody.
Q. What do you think about Indian cricket fans who worship you and the moment you don’t play well, they run after your life?
A. I think these are all part and parcel of the game. It happens because they are following us with full of passion and emotion. They have lots of expectations from us and want us to win every single match. But I want to tell each and every Indian die-hard cricket fan that whenever we are on the field we always try our best and with pride of representing this great nation. But we are just human being not superheroes.
Q. What is your advice to youngsters who wants to become a cricketer?
A. Work hard and focus. Give your 100% and believe in yourself, that’s the key.
Q. Apart from cricket, what else you like to do?
A. I love horse-riding. Whenever I am not playing or not on a tour, I visit my farm and I don’t miss my horse-riding session. If not then hang out with friends, watch movies and do some shopping.
Q. So which was the last movie you watched?
A. It was Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara. It was good but I will say it is one-time watch kind of movie.
Q. Your favorite Bollywood actor and actress?
A. My favorite actor is Imraan Hashmi, no doubt. I don’t have any particular favorite actress but I will go for Katrina Kaif for her acting skills in the present lot.
Q. This is for your female fans, are you single ready to mingle?
A. Yes girls I am still single!
Q. According to you what attributes makes a man a real gentleman?
A. He should be good at heart, honest and loyal to whatever he is doing.
Q. Where do you see yourself after 10 years, any retirement plan?
A. I haven’t thought about it yet, I’m just 24 years old. But down the line I want myself to be counted amongst the great cricketers of India.