Jadeja deserves accolades for hard work: Kohli

New Delhi: Ravindra Jadeja was his deputy when Virat Kohli lifted the U-19 World Cup in Malaysia in 2008. While Kohli seemed to get everything on a silver platter, Jadeja had to take the longer road to success.

When Jadeja was finally picked for the national side, critics ridiculed the selectors’ decision.

But in the last two years, Jadeja has grown from strength to strength and while many questioned his credentials to play in the 50-over format, he has also cemented his place in the Test side.

The icing on the cake came when Jadeja became the joint No.1 ODI bowler last Sunday — making him the first Indian bowler to achieve the feat since Anil Kumble in 1996. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Kohli said that patience and hard work has paid off for Jadeja.

“I am really happy that he got the No. 1 ODI bowler ranking. I think he has worked really hard over the past few years. It is really good to see him come up the ranks because I have played U-19 cricket with him. I was the captain when he played with me in the World Cup, so I am really happy to see him grow along with all of us at the international level. I am proud of him and I hope he keeps doing the hard work in the future,” he said.

While Kohli has been pretty forthcoming in crediting skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with helping him to lead the side in the latter’s absence, Kohli couldn’t get in touch with Dhoni post the series victory in Zimbabwe.

“When he goes away for holidays or something, it is very hard to contact him. I tried to message him on the phone, but I couldn’t reach him. But I will be seeing him soon I guess somewhere and I will speak to him about it,” the 24-year-old said.

“It felt good to win 5- 0 and some of the young guys in the team did well and that augurs well for the team and also I felt good as the captain.”

Commenting on the kind of tips that Dhoni has given him, Kohli said: “He isn’t a guy who says much, so I keep talking to him about different situations and what I could do and how I can keep my calm in pressure situations while captaining the side. Chatting with him in the West Indies when he wasn’t playing and I was captaining the side really helped me.”

With the ‘A’ team touring South Africa, Kohli feels that it will stand the players in good stead as emerging players’ tournaments are highly competitive.

“Emerging players’ tournaments are always good. Even I had made my comeback into the national team through one of these tournaments. It is not only important, but also very competitive. I am sure the guys who have gone there will be really involved and will give their 100 per cent,” he said.

Considering the hectic schedule of India cricketers, they hardly get any time off the field and now that Kohli has got a two-month break, he wants to relax as much as possible before preparing for the upcoming series against Australia.

“I can’t believe that I have a two-month break now. But the first month I will take it easy and then start preparing for the series against Australia in October. This one month in August is going to be really relaxing,” he signed off.

Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.

Also Read:

Ravindra Jadeja: Cricket's Cinderella Man

Dhoni out of reach, even for Virat
Jadeja moves to No.1 in the bowler's rankings

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