Eyeing a consolation win in the fifth and final one-dayer, Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said on Thursday that his teammates need to avoid panicking to curb the "little errors" that have cost them the series against New Zealand. (Simon Doull slams 'rigid' India's selection policy)
"It is just that we panic a bit and we have to reduce that percentage, those little errors. I don't think there is any major problem as to why we are not clicking in batting and bowling," said Jadeja, defending his teammates ahead of the fifth ODI in Wellington on Friday.
"We just need to avoid panicking and we can get positive results." (Ross Taylor reveals NZ tactic of not giving away wickets to Indian spinners)
Jadeja said the side is desperate to win the match to turn around its dismal tour so far. They have squandered the five-match series 0-3, after losses in Napier and Hamilton (twice), whilst tying the ODI in Auckland. They need to win this match on Friday to avoid a 4-0 embarrassment. (Very difficult for India to defend World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar)
"We want to win. We will have to win to keep a good morale for the Test series and going forward on the tour," said Jadeja. (Furious MS Dhoni urges fast bowlers to 'use their heads')
"We have to be positive and give 100 percent for there is nothing left to think now. We know our calibre and our capability and we have already done it in the past, in overseas conditions as well. I don't think there is a big difference in what the two sides are doing at the moment. It is about small things. In one-day cricket, two-three overs can make a difference, if you concede extra runs or cannot score enough in that period. That is a problem for us and we have to avoid mistakes in such times," he added. (Mohammed Azharuddin critical of Shikhar Dhawan's technique)
After taking his time to adjust earlier on in the series, Jadeja has come into his own in the last two matches. He put up a brave partnership with R Ashwin at Eden Park and then played a stellar role in single-handedly tying that third ODI, keeping the series alive for his team.
At Hamilton thereafter, in the fourth ODI, Jadeja scored a his second consecutive fifty to propel his side to a fighting total after a top-order collapse. "There is no secret, I was just backing myself," Jadeja replied, when asked about the secret of his recent individual success.
"In the first two games the runs and wickets did not come. I was thinking that good times aren't around always. You have to face tough periods as well, and hope that they get over as soon as possible. I wanted to minimise my mistakes and work hard to get through this phase. This is how I was motivating myself," he said. "As for batting, I was just hoping that I get some time in the middle, play three-four overs and then go for my shots. And that is what happened. I did not think too much, did not experiment too much, just played my game. Whenever I do that, it works for me," he added. Jadeja's bowling prowess too came to the fore in the fourth ODI when he tied hoops around the in-form pairing of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson. Along with Ashwin, he put the batsmen under pressure, which was only relieved when his spell ended. "In the last game we needed a wicket as they had a good partnership going. I was getting turn and was hoping to get one or two breakthroughs for the team, and we could come back. Unfortunately I did not get a wicket when we needed one," Jadeja said.
"You get turn on Indian wickets and that plays on the mind of the batsman, who does not blindly step out and play his shots. In the last game, it was an India-like wicket. It was soft, the ball was turning. It became a different ball game.
"They were not stepping out against me. (Kane) Williamson's game is to step out all the time, but he did not do that in the last match. That is the difference between when it turns and when it does not. I stick to my strength and do not try anything new," Jadeja added.
As a whole, the Indian bowling has come under great criticism from the team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who singularly blamed the fast bowlers for the loss in the fourth ODI. As such, the blame for the series loss lays at their doorstep as well, despite the fact that majority of the batsmen too failed to come up with the goods. "It depends on the situation. In cricket, only if you get some help from the wicket does the bowler think (about getting wickets) and putting the opposition under pressure. If there is nothing happening on the wicket, the bowler always thinks that he should not go for a boundary." From a personal point of view though, Jadeja has taken massive strides in international cricket in the last one year.
From becoming a permanent member of the Test side when playing at home, to playing his first overseas Test at Durban ahead of Ashwin, and now playing a handsome hand at the number seven slot in the ODI team. "I don't think that if I do this or that, the team will win or lose, and so on. I just think what I can do from a given situation. If the team is in a poor position, I think how I can improve it. Everyone wants to do well but at times, it does not click for a period of four-five games. Everyone is working hard. We have won tournaments and series before the tour to South Africa (where the down-turn started)," Jadeja signed off.