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England Is Not Difficult Team To Beat: Jadeja

Before India's third test match against England begins in Rajkot, Ravindra Jadeja speaks on the visitors' aggressive style of play and how to deal with this

(AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
India's Ravindra Jadeja speaks during a press conference ahead of the third cricket test match against England in Rajkot, India, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
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India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Wednesday said England is not a difficult side to beat and the hosts only need to get used to their ultra-attacking style of play to secure the five-match Test series. (More Cricket News)

England shocked India in the series opener in Hyderabad before the hosts came back strong in Visakhapatnam to get on level footing. The third Test begins in Rajkot on Thursday.

"I won’t term England as (one of the most difficult) teams. It hasn't been easy for other teams to come to India and win. They have an aggressive style of play. We need to get used to that and plan accordingly for them," said Jadeja on the eve of the game.

“If it wasn't for small mistakes in the second innings of first Test, we wouldn't have lost," said the player who missed the second Test due to a hamstring injury.

Jadeja said it was imperative for India to stick to their plans and not try playing differently against England’s aggressive tactics.

"It is better to keep the (bowling) lines as simple as possible in Test cricket because their batters look to play their strokes at every opportunity,” he said.

“If we adjust according to that, it is possible that we may end up giving more runs and not get wickets as well. We will keep it simple and let them do whatever they want to, we have our game plan and if we stick to it then there are chances of being successful,” Jadeja said.

On the injuries he has had to deal with of late, Jadeja said he can't hide himself on the field.

“It is frustrating but the cricket has increased these days and that is at the back of the mind always. I can't hide anywhere in the field, I am always on the hotspot in any format and that maybe the reason (for injuries), and the ball comes to me often.

“There is an expectation from the team that I take a good catch or field well and that's good. I can work on my body more smartly and do it carefully and hope there will be no problem. But there is no guarantee,” he added.

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Jadeja said he will have to make smart adjustments to avoid injuries.

“I would like to give my 100 per cent and save my body and keep away from diving when not required. That's it. I don't think about that too much because it (returning from injury) has happened before.

“As the match progresses, the body will get used to with the flow and then it gets out of your mind that there was an injury. I will get into the rhythm in one or two days,” he said.

Jadeja is expecting a flat pitch for the third Test.

“Here the wicket is flat and hard, but depends on what they have prepared. Sometimes you get 37 wickets in three matches (days), but this wicket looks good.

“Here the wicket behaves differently in every game. Sometimes it stays flat, sometimes it turns, sometimes it plays well for two days and then turns. I believe it will play well first and then slowly it will break and the ball will turn,” said Jadeja.

‘Young players are seasoned’

With Rajat Patidar making his debut in the previous Test and Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel in line to be handed their Test caps in Rajkot, Jadeja said the young players have adequate experience and knowledge to be successful in prevailing conditions.

“All these new boys are coming into the side after playing a lot of first-class cricket. These are seasoned players, they know how to play long innings and have an idea how it goes in Test cricket.

"Such a time (transition) is inevitable, whether it comes after two years or five, it is good for them that they are getting an opportunity in the home conditions.

“If they are making Test debut in Australia or South Africa, the player also lacks confidence whether they will be able to perform or not. It (India) is an ideal place for them since they have played on such wickets a lot and they have the idea on how the pitch would behave,” he said.

‘Destiny that Ashwin would take his 500th wicket here’

Jadeja said it was only in their destiny that Ashwin, who has 499 wickets, would have the chance to bring up his 500th scalp at Rajkot.

“He will definitely complete his 500 wickets on this ground. I am very excited because I have been playing with him for 12-13 years and to achieve this milestone of completing 500 Test wickets is a really big thing,” Jadeja said.

“I thought he would complete it in the first Test but it’s okay, whatever is written in destiny… he will complete his 500 wickets in Rajkot, in my hometown,” Jadeja added.

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