What’s the story?
All rounder Ravindra Jadeja has opened up on his all-new look and Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s hilarious reaction to it at the end of the IPL game between Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot. Alluding to a funny incident during the recently completed home season, the 28-year old also shed light into the reason behind his quirky style.
In a candid chat with The Quint, Jadeja said, “The picture was taken right before the match with RCB, where Virat started calling me ‘Rajput’. He has nicknamed me that and I feel super proud when he addresses me with that name. Virat and I are like brothers and these fun conversations are a part of our relationship.”
On why he tried the new look, the left-arm spinner revealed, “Everyone in the (Indian) dressing room looked the same. So I thought, I will try something different. Once (head coach) Anil Kumble walked up to me when I was sitting with my face down. He thought I was KL Rahul and started speaking in Kannada. Beards have created a lot of confusion in the team.”
After leading RCB to a 21-run victory during the match against Gujarat on April 18, Kohli was spotted having an animated conversation with the likes of Jadeja and Praveen Kumar. The star batsman could not control his laughter upon witnessing the spinner’s new look from close quarters.
The heart of the matter
Jadeja insisted that the sudden departure from his trademark look has not taken the focus away from his on-field performance. Looking to keep things simple, the left-armer reiterated that he has bowled in the IPL with the same mindset as the previous Test series against Australia despite the formats being different.
After being rested from Gujarat’s first two games, the all-rounder had returned to action during the home match against Rising Pune Supergiant on April 14. From five matches thus far, he has picked up just two wickets and scored only 51 runs.
Jadeja and Kohli will face off against each other on Thursday night when RCB host the Lions at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. With only two victories from seven games, the visitors badly need a positive result.
While the previous generation of leading Indian players sported a clean shaved look, the current stars have been keen on facial hair. Even though his new look may appear different, Jadeja is at his best with a beard.