'Feels good to dismiss Clarke'

Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t set the stage on fire yet, but the sprightly all-rounder is slowly but surely carving out a permanent place for himself in Test cricket, a format he was considered unfit.

His batting abilities, he has two triple hundreds in Ranji Trophy, certainly have pushed his case for a spot in the longer version but it’s with his bowling that he has managed to impress against Australia. In three matches so far (the third Test is just two-day old), the left-handed all-rounder has claimed 14 wickets playing perfect foil for the lead spinner R Ashwin.

On Friday when Ashwin, despite bowling beautifully, was unable to get among wickets, it was Jadeja who provided crucial breakthroughs after Australia had got off to a solid start. His figures of 3/56, which included the wicket of Australian skipper Michael Clarke, were largely responsible for India gaining an upper hand in the third Test.   
      
“It’s happening so as of now,” remarked Jadeja almost appearing coy when asked if Clarke had become his bunny. The Saurashtra player has dismissed Clarke on four occasions in five innings already. “It’s not like I want to get him out only, but luckily (for me) whenever I’m bowling he has come to bat and in this series I've got him four times. It feels good. His wicket is important for the team because if he scores, they get a big score. So, it’s very important to get him out as soon as possible.”

Five of the seven Aussie wickets went to spinners but Jadeja felt there was not much turn from the wicket compared to the ones in Chennai and Hyderabad. “On this wicket, there was not so much turn as there was in Hyderabad and Chennai, and it’s a first day too. It was a good wicket for the first day’s play, both for bowlers and batsmen. My plan was to bowl most of the deliveries on the stumps, not to give them room outside off and leg stumps. If there’s turn in the wicket, I try to bowl within the stumps,” he explained.

Going into lunch break, Jadeja maintained, the morale of the hosts wasn’t down though the Aussies were sitting pretty on 109/0. “No, morale wasn’t down because not too many runs had been made in the first session; just 109 runs were made in 35 overs (36 overs to be precise). We were waiting for a wicket and we knew after that we can take more.

After lunch, when I got my first wicket and Clarke got out on the next ball, we were being patient. We didn’t want to get hassled and give them too many runs. We wanted to bowl where we had planned to, that if we gave them too many runs, they’d be able to score more comfortably. In the first session, we didn’t give too many runs. Yes, we didn’t get wickets, but made up for that in the last two sessions,” he elaborated.

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