After being sidelined from limited overs cricket for over 14 months, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a memorable comeback to one day internationals (ODI), claiming 4/29 against Bangladesh in a Super Four match of the Asia Cup 2018 on Friday. His performance, which ripped the Bangladesh batting order apart, earned him the Man-of-the-Match award. Speaking on his return to ODI cricket, Jadeja said that he has nothing to prove to anyone and also stated that he is only looking to focus on sharpening his abilities on the field.
"I will always remember this comeback because I returned to the team after a gap of around 480 days. The earlier gaps have not been this long. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. What my ability is, I need to sharpen it. I don't have to show anyone what I can do. I need to challenge myself." Jadeja told reporters at the post-match press conference.
With less than a year left for the 2019 World Cup, Jadeja might have sent a timely reminder to the selectors about his prowess, but he said he was not thinking that far ahead.
"The World Cup is still some time away, we're going to play a lot of matches before that, and I can't comment on that yet. My ambition is to perform the way I did today whenever I get the opportunity.
"Can't think about it now. My focus is to perform in this series."
Jadeja, back in the Indian One-Day International team for the first time since July 2017, foxed the Bangladesh batting line-up with his smart bowling.
"Even in Test cricket, because the last few series have been overseas, I haven't been getting chances consistently. So I was determined that whenever I get the chance I will perform, that's all that I can control. I was only focused about my own game and how I can improve further," he said.
The Saurashtra cricketer is known for his ability to bowl his spinning deliveries quickly.
"On a slow wicket, you have to bowl with more of your own effort. On a normal wicket, the ball goes through quickly after bouncing so it doesn't give the batsman as much time. But on a slow wicket you have to bowl with more effort," said Jadeja.
Regarding the last-minute developments prior to his latest limited overs comeback, he said, "I didn't know that I got a call for one-day team because I was playing for Vijay Hazare. I didn't know what is going on here. Day before I got call from the selector, he said I might have to go to Dubai, so be ready.
"I was playing Test cricket. Last few series were away so I didn't play in it. I was concentrating on what is in my control, how to improve my game in away conditions. When I got a chance in England, I did well. Here, unfortunately, Axar (Patel) got injured and I got my opportunity and did well."
Asked about Sunday's Super Four clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, he said, "Be it India-Pakistan or any other country, playing for India is a matter of pride. But India-Pakistan is something everyone is excited about."
(With PTI Inputs)