Monday, October 2, 2006

Ravindra Jadeja - Big dreams

He is living a dream, being a part of the same dressing room as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

While he is in the 12th standard expectedly put butterflies in Ravindra Jadeja's stomach, the confidence level of the teenager — who can't think beyond cricket.

The left-hander fielded the very first ball of the match, and a few minutes later, took a marvelous catch to dismiss India Red's S Badrinath.

he sayed : "I am very happy. It was my first day, but everybody treated me as just another teammate. There is no seniority issue. I have received great support. It has been a great experience."

Watching the left-hander execute some clean, straight hits at the nets left one in no doubt that the selectors were right in giving the 17 year-old, who is yet to make his Ranji debut, a 'feel' of the big stage. Jadeja's game looks similar to current India middle-order bat Yuvraj Singh's. "He is my role model. Like him, I love to drive the ball straight, particularly through the on-side.

Like Yuvi, Jadeja is a useful left-arm spinner and, as the catch at point on Sunday showed, he is an efficient fielder. It may not be long before Jadeja rubbed shoulders with his role model.

Jadeja is fulfilling the dying wish of his mother, "She fought for her life in the hospital for five days, but kept telling me that she desperately wanted me to play for India," Jadeja said. he says, it were his neighbours and friends who were elated with his surprise 'call-up.' "The Pakistan tour with the under-19 team really helped. I performed well both with the bat, in the middle-order, and bowled my left-arm spinners well. Before that I played reasonably well with the India A team in Abu Dhabi and Australia. Everybody who saw me bat was impressed," he said.



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