Rahul Dravid gets the credit for my batting: Jayant Yadav
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Team India found a very reliable player in Jayant Yadav in the recently concluded series against England. The off-spinner from Haryana was drafted in the side as the third spinner. However, he added more value to his position by coming up with crucial runs down the order. He struck a brilliant ton batting at number 9 and was effective with both bat and ball throughout. In a recent conversation with TOI, Jayant Yadav spoke at length about his performances, his rise and the way he plans to play in the year ahead. The most talked about and the surprising aspect of his game was his batting. Commenting on that, he modestly said that he always knew he could bat. The double century in the First Class game added to his confidence.
“I always knew that I could bat. It all started with the double hundred I scored (in a Ranji game) for Haryana, and after that I had the added responsibility (of doing well with the bat too). Viru bhai (who was leading us in that season) sent me to bat at No 4. During the India ‘A’ games as well – I batted at No 6 or No 7,” he quoted.
He further credited Rahul Dravid for helping him improve his batting skills. “Credit should go to my coach Rahul Dravid for letting me explore my batting abilities. Until and unless you go out there and bat under pressure, you won’t know what you are capable of. This season I have been working a lot on my batting and it is paying me dividends,” he added.
Adding a few more words of praise for Dravid, Jayant Yadav said that the former Indian cricketer has good suggestions and ideas for anything related to cricket. More importantly, Dravid never forces anyone for anything and lets the natural self-come to the fore.
“With Rahul bhai, you can talk on anything related to cricket. You can discuss with him about the mental space you are in, what you feel is lacking (in your game) and what’s going for you. He takes into account everything and gives his ideas. If you like it, you can take it or you need not. That’s the best part about Rahul bhai. He just lets you be and doesn’t force anything upon you,” quoted the off-spinner.
India fields 3 spinners in home conditions. However, when touring abroad, it is unlikely that India will play more than one spinner in the side. Talking about this, Yadav dead batted the question by quoting, “Right now, I am only focusing on the matches that are ahead of me and not thinking too far ahead. I take each day as it comes.”
Jayant Yadav has had the privilege of playing under the captaincy of both Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. When asked about the difference between the captaincy styles of the two legends, Jayant remarked that he has bowled just 4 overs under MSD. He commended both the players.
“I played three Tests under Virat and just bowled about 4 overs under Mahi Bhai (in the ODI against New Zealand in Visakhapatnam). I think they both are great captains and all you have to do (as a bowler) is to just go out there and bowl,” he said.
During the England series, Yadav played a good role in support of Ravi Ashwin. Jayant mentioned that they always talk cricket. He appreciated the way Ashwin helps him to learn the game more.
“Ash and I share a very good rapport. We talk about cricket and there is always a lot of fun and banter. It’s a great to have him in the dressing room. Ash always gives very meaningful inputs. He is quite senior and gives you space to do your own thing. He gives you suggestions on how to bowl to a particular batsmen and the type of fields you can set, and I take his inputs very seriously,” he conceded.