Champion Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja opened up about the thumb injury that he suffered while batting in the first innings of the Sydney Test and how he mentally prepared himself to bat if required as India battled to save the game on the fifth day.
Jadeja was struck on his thumb courtesy a sharp bumper by Australian pacer Mitchell Starc on the third day of the 3rd Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The southpaw did not bowl in Australia’s second innings as he was taken to the hospital for scans where it was revealed that he had dislocated his thumb. However, at the time, the Saurashtra all-rounder revealed, he did not realize that he had broken his thumb as all he was focussed on was getting some crucial runs for his team.
“At first I didn’t realise that I had fractured my thumb amidst the momentum of batting. At that point during the game, all I had in mind was to add runs for India with the tailenders. Still I didn’t realise that my finger was broken on the inside, there was pain of course but I thought it must have been the impact of the ball that hit my thumb,” Ravindra Jadeja revealed in an exclusive interview with Sports Today.
”So I continued batting with that thought. But when I left the field and scans were done, then we got to know that it’s a broken thumb. But it’s okay, if I had to bat for the team in this situation I definitely would have,” he added.
‘I was all ready, padded up’- Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja might have not bowled during Australia’s second innings but he was padded up to bat despite all the pain as India battled to save the Test match on the final day.
The Indian all-rounder revealed that at a time when the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari were battling it out in the middle, he was mentally preparing himself as to how he would approach his innings and which shots he would play, given the fact that he could not play all the shots due to injury.
“I was all ready, padded up. Had taken the injection as well. I was just thinking that I would bat for 10-15 overs at least and mentally planning how the innings would pan out, which shots to play because it wasn’t possible for me to play all kinds of shots with the pain from the fracture. I was also calculating how to tackle the deliveries from fast bowlers, where would they pitch the ball to me. I was planning my role for when I go out to bat for those 10-15 overs,” Ravindra Jadeja added.
“I did have a talk with the management that I would bat only if India managed to reach a point from where the match could be won. Pujara and Rishabh Pant were batting well, they formed a partnership. We even felt that we could win the game [Sydney Test]. But unfortunately, Pant was out and the situation changed after that. We had to play for a draw from there on,” he added.
Eventually, India did not require Jadeja’s services with the bat as Ashwin and Vihari performed a blockathon for the ages, surviving more than 250 deliveries despite their respective injuries to help the visitors escape with a draw. Jadeja was all praise for the grit, determination and character that the duo showed on that historic final day in Sydney.
“The way Ashwin and Vihari batted to save the game, they showed a lot of character. It’s not always about scoring runs when it comes to Test cricket. There are times and circumstances when you’ve got to save the match. It was a wonderful team effort, the way we saved the match batting so many overs,” he added.
Meanwhile, the injury has ruled out Ravindra Jadeja from the four-match Tests series against England.