India tour South Africa next year and skipper Virat Kohli has hinted that he is most likely to field one spinner in the Test matches. However, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is not worried about whether he would be able to get that spot ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin. Jadeja (3/51) along with Ashwin (4/67) played a major role in bowling out Sri Lanka for just 205 on the first day of the 2nd Test in Nagpur. Asked if he was the captain, then who he would have chosen between him and Ashwin in the playing XI for South Africa Tests, the jovial Jadeja replied: "Yeh bhi koi puchne ki baat hain (Is this a question that you even need to ask?)."If I am the captain, I will not even give the ball to anyone (laughs). I will keep bowling from one end."
Then on a serious note, he said: "It all depends on team's balance and what it wants. At times on overseas tours, we assess if there are more left-handers or right-handers in the opposition and accordingly, the team's composition is set."
Aware that one among him, Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav will feature in the playing XI, Jadeja said that he can only control thing which is in his hands - performance. "I can only control the controllable. When I get an opportunity, I will try to do well. What is not in my control, there is no point thinking about it. When I get a chance to play in South Africa, I will try to do well.
"When I got a chance the last time, I played the second Test after Ashwin played the first. That's why I said that team's combination will depend on composition of the opposition." Jadeja was satisfied that he could bowl disciplined line on a strip where there was not much help for the bowlers.
"There was a lot of help from the wicket there (Kolkata) so you guys must have felt that every ball will yield a wicket but that was not the case here because this wicket had grass but not the bounce or swing or the overcast conditions of Kolkata. That's why we did not get much help but the two (Ishant and Yadav) bowled well in the first session."
Ashwin was seen bowling round the wicket and that's how he got Dinesh Chandimal leg before trying to reverse sweep and Dasun Shanaka with an angular delivery. "If there is nothing in the wicket for spinners, then it's good to try something different. Over the wicket or round the wicket, just try and create chances. That's what he was doing."
On his own bowling, Jadeja said: "I was very happy as to how I bowled today. There was no help from the wicket and I was looking to bowl in right areas." India have gone with only four specialist bowlers in this Test and for Jadeja it is important to get 20 wickets irrespective of whether you play four or five bowlers.
"The five-bowler combination means if we need to get 20 wickets, then you need bowlers to do that. Even if you score 700 or 800 runs, if you can't take 20 wickets, you won't win the match. It's important that you have all options - like all-rounders, bowlers, to utilize them as per conditions."
(With PTI inputs)