ICC Champions Trophy: The principle of KISS and the Battle of Edgbaston against Pakistan

Updated: 13 June 2013 16:32 IST

On a high after his career-best five for 36 against the West Indies, Ravindra Jadeja says there are no special plans for Saturday's much-hyped Champions Trophy clash.


Wikipedia explains KISS as an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid" as a design principle noted by the US Navy in 1960. Ravindra Jadeja's coach is urging him to adopt a variation of this strategy against Pakistan here on Saturday.

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Jadeja took a career-best 5 for 36 against the West Indies on Tuesday and his coach Debu Mitra now tells him that Oval is history. "A bad performance against Pakistan can wipe out his good contribution in the ICC Champions Trophy so far," cautions Mitra.

"There is so much attention on an India-Pakistan game. Like the entire team, Jadeja too will be under pressure because the fans will be very demanding," Mitra told NDTV in an exclusive chat from London. (Also read: 'Rockstar' Jadeja almost quit spin bowling, reveals coach)

"Cricket is a mind game and big matches like this one versus Pakistan really test your mental strength. Knowing Jadeja, he should do well. Life has taught him to remain composed under pressure," said Saurashtra's Ranji Trophy coach.

Jadeja quite believes in the KISS principle that states most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex. Jadeja, who has been in great form in the Champions Trophy, is a firm believer in this acronym, reportedly coined by Kelly Johnson, an American lead engineer who created spy planes.

"There will be no change in my strategy. I just want to bowl in the right areas and keep it simple and straight (KISS!). My line and length can frustrate batsmen. If I can check the runs, the wickets will also come," Jadeja said after his five-wicket haul against West Indies at The Oval on Tuesday. (India vs Pakistan is never a dead rubber, says Sunil Gavaskar)

Although India have qualified for the Champions Trophy semis and Pakistan are out of the competition, will this match be any special? Jadeja reckons India just have to keep their momentum going.

"We should only worry about our game and not Pakistan's. We have won both our group matches backing each other up very well and against Pakistan there will be no special plans. We will treat it as a normal game," Jadeja said, adding fielding will be a key factor and "India now have 11 good guys and no one to hide on the park."

Mitra will be watching Saturday's match against Pakistan on TV. He is on a coaching assignment in London, a ritual he does every summer for the last three decades. "It's best not to give him last-minute tips. Even at The Oval, I never advised him what to do. He has worked very hard in the nets and the results are showing," Mitra said.

The 65-year-old coach insists that Jadeja should keep his feet firmly on the ground and not get carried away by his Champions Trophy showing.

"The only way you can keep your place in the Indian team is by performance. The captain only believes in you when you are delivering. Otherwise, you are nothing," said the 65-year-old former Bengal veteran, who has mentored the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Devang Gandhi.

"Two years after he was dropped from the India team and not even considered for the 2011 World Cup, Jadeja has made a remarkable comeback, purely due to hard work," Mitra explained.

Mitra refuses to believe that Jadeja's close 'association' (no pun intended) with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, they were Chennai Super Kings teammates in Indian Premier League 2013, has anything to do with the 24-year-old's success.

"It quite angers me when the media tries to find such irrelevant links. Did Dhoni save Jadeja when he was dropped from the Indian team for the World cup? If you perform, no one can stop you. Jadeja's main job is to bowl and the fact that he can bat too, is a great bonus," Mitra said.

Mitra calls Jadeja a "complete package."

"No captain can ignore his worth in the team. He will get you wickets, score 30-40 odd runs in quick time and he is a superb fielder. Just the kind of abilities you want in a No. 7-8 player in your team," Mitra explained.

Jadeja's all-round skills make him a great choice for Test cricket as well. "You can't compare him to a Pragyan Ojha, who specializes in left-arm spin. Jadeja is unique and will always have an edge. But as I said, he has done well in all three departments and that is the biggest challenge for him every day," the veteran coach said.

Topics : Cricket ICC Champions Trophy 2013 India Ravindra Jadeja New Zealand Pakistan
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