Kedhav Jadhav burst onto the scene by playing powerful cameos for the IPL sides he has represented so far, which include the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Delhi Daredevils. But the 28-year-old has now come into the national reckoning with breathtaking performances in the just conluded Ranji Season.
With 1,223 runs at an average of 87.35 and at a staggering strike-rate of 80.30 for the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy runners-up Maharashtra, Jadhav has been in the form of his life of late.
Here is an exlusive interview with the man himself.
You are now 28-years-old. You have come into the limelight pretty much late into your career. Where were you hidden all along?
I would blame it on inconsistency for not being in the limelight but its fine. I am very fit and performing well; so age hardly matters.
Having made your name in IPL, do you think you’ve done enough this season to get attention from selectors?
I would like to think so. I have made around 1200 runs this season and performed in every team I have been selected in whether its India A, Deodhar, Challenger or Ranji. Its always good to get noticed when you have done your bit.
Some critics may push away your domestic achievement this year as yet another flat pitch demonstration. What’s your response to this?
Well to those who say that, I would like to recommend them to watch my innings against Mumbai in the Ranji Quarterfinals at Wankhede. The wicket wasn’t a flat one, and I scored 50 in the first and 120 in the second innings which was the match winning knock.
Delhi Daredevils used you more as a finisher in IPL 6, where you did not exactly flourish. Seeing your game-play, you are more suited to building an innings and then teeing off. Do you think you should have been used better?
Last year we didn’t have any finisher on our side, and so I was assigned that role. Sometimes you have to make best of the situations. That’s what cricket is all about.
Your memorable experiences from Delhi Daredevils dressing room?
It has to be my debut for them at a game in Bangalore. I went on to score 50 and win the Man of the Match award.
DD had a terrific IPL 5, but the last season turned out to be disastrous with pretty much the same supporting staff. What do you think went wrong?
I think none of the players were playing consistently, and that cost us a lot.
Even though you have played some attractive knocks in IPL, one gets the feel that this massive Ranji season is the one that will put in the national reckoning? Do you think you have hit the ground running at the right time?
Well you can say that. I enjoy playing all the formats, but, yes, Ranji trophy has its own immense importance. There were times when I wasn’t sure about myself and was facing few problems with my game. I worked hard on those shots and improved quite a lot which helped my performances.
How was the experience in the A-side against West Indies last year? Do you think you missed a trick having failed to conjure a single good innings in that tournament?
Well it was a good experience. In most of the games we were chasing; so I couldn’t have built up an innings and had to play in an attacking manner. I did make 42 in 21 balls in one of the match. It was good to play alongside Yuvraj Singh and I also learnt lot from him.
If the readers had to judge you based on one innings, which knock would you call your best so far in your career?
I would tell them to watch my innings against Mumbai during the Ranji Quarter Finals. We were up against a very tough side and a difficult wicket and to top it all it was a very crucial match. I was happy that we won it.
What would you call the turning point of the Ranji finals? How much has this loss hurt you and your side?
I think in the first innings we should have put at least around 500 plus runs, but things didn’t work out in our favor. The loss was of course unfortunate. but we were happy that we put up a good performance overall. The team is really young and have a great future ahead and coming from plate division to finals was a great journey.
You’ve occasionally kept wickets for DD. How did that happen, and do you take it as seriously as your batting?
I do enjoy keeping wickets but not more than 20 overs. In T20 you have to contribute in any manner you can, and since I know how to keep wickets, I took up the job.
Did you actually nick behind the delivery that got rid of you in the first innings of the Ranji Final? Had that gone the other way, we could have probably seen a different result.
It was a strange decision, as I felt nothing. I was surprise to see the finger up when I looked back. Things might have turned out differently, but our bad luck turned into opposition’s good luck.
You’ve been named in the probable for T20 World Cup. What’ll be your reaction on getting selected or rejected? You think it’s your last chance at breaking into the national side?
I am very happy and positive. Let’s see what happens. Its too early to comment anything. I don’t think that this is my last chance, as the Indian captain said that a player has to be fit and performing to be in the Indian side and I am both.
The IPL auction is coming up, any particular team you’d like to be signed up by?
Well I don’t know which team is going to pick me, but whichever it is, I am hoping for a good one.