Kedar Jadhav grabbed the headlines for some sterling performances in the recently-concluded one-day international series between India and England. From relative obscurity, Jadhav rose in no time to become a household name after his century in the first ODI Pune helped India chase down England's mammoth 251-run target. The middle-order batsman, who won the 'Man of the Series' Award after ending up as the highest run-getter, has said the one-day series against the English was the turning point of his career.
Jadhav smashed 120 off just 76 balls and had a strike-rate even better than skipper Virat Kohli, who scored 122 off 105 balls, in the match. Jadhav's uninhibited hitting captured the imagination of the nation.
"After hitting the century against England in Pune, I thought if I continue with the same performance, there is a possibility of getting man of the series (award)," Jadhav said told reporters in Pune on Friday.
"I think the ODI series against England is the turning point of my cricketing career," he added.
The diminutive batsman scored 232 runs in three matches at an average of 77.33 and a strike rate of 144.09.
Jadhav said that his performance during the New Zealand series helped improve his confidence.
"Though I did not score big, whatever runs I scored, it gave me immense confidence....Before this series (against England), I had a gut feeling that I will perform, and I think, for any player, having such a feeling is most important thing," he said.
Asked about getting the opportunity to play for India a little late in his career, he said, "I got the opportunity late because I was not mature enough, there were flaws in my game. The moment I became an accomplished player, I got the opportunity and I am happy that I could convert it (into success)."
Captain Virat Kohli "blindly" trusted him, Jadhav said. "He has always encouraged me to play my natural game. Just by seeing him preparing for the game and playing one gets immense inspiration."
He also lauded Mahendra Singh Dhoni's calmness under pressure and said the company of the former captain helped him mature as a cricketer.
"He handles the pressure, faces the challenges and deals with the situation in a calm and composed manner," Jadhav said.
(With PTI Inputs)