T20 World Cup 2021: ‘Not fair to judge us on basis of one or two games’, Jadeja after his heroics against Scotland

Ravindra Jadeja | Getty

Team India registered an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Scotland in the ongoing T20 World Cup at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday (November 5).

Opting to bowl first, India skittled out Scotland for a meagre 85 in 17.4 overs and then chased down the target in just 6.3 overs to push their net run-rate above New Zealand and Afghanistan.

After the game, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who earned the Player-of-the-Match award for his 3 for 15 against Scotland, said that it is unfair to judge the current Indian team on the basis of one or two defeats after consistent brilliance at home and abroad in the last three years.

“If you look at it that way, then in last two to three years, we have played some really good cricket, whether it’s in India or overseas. So it’s not fair to judge us on basis of one or two games,” Jadeja said in the post-match press conference.

“In T20 cricket, any team can have an odd bad game or two but you can’t think too much about those defeats. You have to move on and think about the opportunities ahead. We will take the positives from those two games and look to play well in future games,” he added.

India opted to go with three specialist spinners against Scotland and Jadeja said that his role was the same it has now been for years.

“My role was same. I looked to take wickets in middle overs and bowl like how I bowl usually. No change in plans just because we were playing Scotland. It was a simple basic plan. Look to bowl in good areas and let the wicket do the rest.”

Jadeja also pointed out that dew has become a game-changer in the T20 World Cup 2021.

A case in point was India needed to chase down Scotland’s total in 7.1 overs to better their net run-rate, but the opening blitz from KL Rahul (50 off 19 balls) and Rohit Sharma (30 off 16 balls) took them over the line four balls earlier.

“In first innings of these games, the ball is stopping and gripping a bit off the surface. If you bat in the second innings, dew makes the track flat and batters then find it very easy.

“When you are batting first on these tracks, we are not getting the starts we are used to and when the start is a poor one, it becomes difficult to comeback in middle overs. For that, winning toss becomes important and as then you can opt to bat second.”

India had suffered heavy defeats in the first two games against Pakistan and New Zealand but the team didn’t press the panic, bouncing back with resounding wins over Afghanistan and Scotland.

“We didn’t press the panic button because as I said earlier, you will have a few bad matches in T20s and specially in these conditions toss has become important as dew is becoming a game-changer. If the team that bats first in one game gets to chase in another, you can see the difference Dew is making it seem as if the first team to bat is playing on a different surface as to the chasing team.”

He concluded the press conference on a cheeky note when a reporter asked, “what if New Zealand beat Afghanistan? What would you do?”

“Then we will pack our bags and go home. What else will be left then,” Jadeja replied.