'I am a bowler who can bat'

'I am a bowler who can bat'

Jayant Yadav might have got a Test century to his name, but the Haryana off-spinner prefers to be known as a bowler who can bat.

The 27-year-old shot to fame during the home series against England last year where he shone both with the bat and the ball. Coming at No. 9, Jayant helped shore up the team's cause with vital contributions in his debut match in Vizag. He followed it with a half-century in the Mohali Test where he garnered 80 runs with Ravindra Jadeja for the eighth wicket. Jayant raised the bar in Mumbai where he became the first Indian No 9 to score a Test century. His 241-run stand for the eighth wicket with Virat Kohli took the match away from England.

The batting prowess of this lanky spinner is well documented in the domestic circuit too where he has scored three first-class hundreds. However, for now Jayant's focus is on the Indian Premier League, where he represents Delhi Daredevils. Jayant hoped to reprise his Test form in the shortest format, too.

“Scoring a Test century and batting in T20 are two different things. Everyone knows I can bat, it all depends on how well I can adapt from the Test format to the T20 format. Batting is an asset but I have always maintained that I am a bowler who can bat and I am happy to bat at number 9,” Jayant said.

“I would like to create an impact against our opponents. I hope to fulfill my role to the best of my potential. Batting in T20 is not easy and I take it as a challenge.”
In T20, Jayant felt, the spinners needed to gauge the conditions quickly. “Every ball in T20 can win you the match, so it's important to read the situation well. You need variations. You can't keep bowling the same deliveries to all batsmen.”

Like everyone, he too ho­pes to get more matches in IPL. “But you have to take into consideration that teams in IPL have become very smart, every wicket is different, every team is different. So it all depends on that.”

Jayant, who began his cricketing journey with Young Friends Cricket Club here, holds fond memories of his formative years. “I learned a lot playing in Delhi’s club cricket. One had to do everything, be it carrying drinks, getting your own kitbag and arranging for lunch. You had to go through the process and I enjoyed every bit of it.”

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