India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said that his spat with Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade motivated him to perform better in the Dharamsala Test. Jadeja was adjudged the Man of the Match of the Dharamsala Test and the Man of the Series against Australia. India won the four-Test series 2-1 after registering an eight-wicket win in the final match.
Jadeja had a memorable home season, picking up 71 wickets in the 13 Tests. The Saurashtra all-rounder also scored six fifties with a batting average of 42.76. He hit a timely 63 in Dharamsala to hand his team a slender 32-run first-inningslead, which proved to be a vital contribution on a day when 14 wickets fell.
There was plenty of on-field chatter between Wade and Jadeja during India’s first innings. Wade was heard on the stump camera taking a dig at India not picking Jadeja when they play away from home. “I was just telling Wade that we will meet and have dinner once you guys have lost the Test,” Jadeja said, of the exchange. “When I batted, I was thinking to take my time and then Wade chirped from behind. That motivated me. If I can respond to him with runs, it will be great.”
Jadeja also credited his coaches and captain for his performance and said he is happy to have answered his critics. “Coaches and the captain have been telling me that I have the skill to bat long,” he said. “I developed as a player overall. Some time ago people didn’t consider me a Test bowler. This season is a good response to them.”
Talking about his combination with Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja said, “Ashwin and I maintain pressure from both ends. The variation of off-spinner and left-arm spinner also works well. It is difficult for any team to play such a combination. Hopefully we can continue this outside India too.”
When asked about brandishing his bat like a sword at after reaching a half-century, Jadeja said, “I will try to get to a hundred next time, and celebrate with two bats as swords.”