Durban: Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja would like to go all out for his elusive fifth wicket on Sunday which will be an answer to his critics who had said that he can only perform on sub-continental tracks that offer turn.
Jadeja was the pick of of the Indian bowlers as he scalped four for 87 in South Africa's total of 299 for five at stumps on the third day. (Day 3 report)
"Critics have always said that I can only spin the ball while playing in India. It was my dream to come to South Africa and take five wickets in a Test innings. Jacques is one of the players I have idolised growing up. It will be great if I can get his wicket. Ek wicket aur mil jaye, bas, I will get my first five-wicket haul outside India," Jadeja said at the post-match press conference. (Scorecard)
The aggressive tone in his voice could not be missed, especially since he was the stand-out bowler for his side on the day, when the quicker bowlers failed to support him enough. (Highlights)
"I was just trying to bowl in the right areas. There is a rough forming for the left-arm spinner so I was trying to exploit that as well. The odd ball was turning and I was thinking of not giving them any room and bowling stump to stump," Jadeja said. (Day 3 Pics)
When asked specifically, if he missed bowling in tandem with another spinner, given that the pitch is so dry, he deflected the question.
"Wickets back in India are different. You can play two spinners there because there is turn and bounce. Here, we get only foot marks to work with. Also it is very difficult for the spinners with the Kookaburra ball. So I think one spinner is enough in the playing XI," he replied. Jadeja inflicted huge damage on the Proteas' batting line-up, accounting for Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, AB de Villiers and later JP Duminy. He struck at difficult times and broke partnerships, proving to be a boon for the Indian team.
"I think AB's (de Villiers) wicket was the most crucial one because they were batting very well. We need to get early wickets in the morning so we can get enough time to bat well in the second innings and put a decent total in the second innings as well. We need to come back tomorrow and get Jacques Kallis quickly," he said.
Ravindra Jadeja became the first left-arm spinner to bag four wickets in a Test innings for India in South Africa, outstripping the 3 for 73 by Venkatapathy Raju at Port Elizabeth in December 1992. He also became the second Indian spinner to take four wickets in an innings at Kingsmead, Durban. Harbhajan took 4 for 10 in South Africa's first innings in December 2010.
Jadeja's good show means that chances of Ravichandran Ashwin making it into the playing XI during the next series in New Zealand also looks pretty bleak.
"I only found out on Day one of the Test, ahead of the toss that I am playing," said Jadeja, of his first inclusion in the Indian XI in an overseas Test match.
India had delayed taking the second new ball on his account, but that could be crucial on the fourth morning.
"You will have to ask the captain that," Jadeja said, smiling, when asked if India would take it straight-away.