Fit-again India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is relishing his new role of batting in the middle-order and thanked skipper Rohit Sharma for showing faith and promoting him up the order.
The left-arm spin all-rounder returned to action after recovering from a knee injury, and in the second T20 against Sri Lanka in Dharamsala, he blasted his way to 18-ball 45 not out to help India notch up a series-clinching seven-wicket win on Saturday.
“Yes, I'm enjoying batting at number five. I can take my time and I can pace my innings according to the situation,” Jadeja, who came at No.5, said at the post-match media interaction. “I would like to thank Rohit because he trusts me and he believes in me that I can go out there and score runs for my team.
“So hopefully whenever I get an opportunity in future I'll try and do my best, play according to the situation and be in the game for my team.” The 33-year-old missed the last two series against South Africa and the West Indies as he was undergoing rehab for his knee injury.
In his comeback match in the first T20I on Thursday, Jadeja was promoted to No 4 where he scored 3 not out from four balls as India posted 199 for 2 en route to a 62-run win. Justifying his decision, skipper Rohit has said they "wanted more" from the "vastly-improved batter" Jadeja.
In the second T20, India lost both Rohit (1) and Ishan Kishan (16) cheaply inside the powerplay, while Sanju Samson (39 from 25 balls) could not convert his start as they were in a tricky position at 128 for 3, needing 56 runs in the last seven overs when Jadeja walked in.
Jadeja looked in full flow and along with the in-form Shreyas Iyer (74 not out) put up an exceptional batting display to seal the chase with 17 balls to spare. “I am feeling better, I am confident and I am good to go. I am glad that I played a good innings for my team. Hopefully, I will continue in the same in the upcoming games,” he said.
He said the wicket also helped a lot as the ball was coming nicely to the bat. “Wicket was so good, the ball was coming on nicely and I was just looking to time the ball. I was not trying too hard. I was just looking to play normal cricketing shots.
“Shreyas has been batting really well. We tried to play till the end,” he said about their 58-run unbroken stand from 25 balls. Jadeja also praised comeback man Samson, who played good innings before getting out in the 13th over.
“He played brilliantly. When you play after a long time and score runs, you feel confident. Hopefully, he continues in the upcoming games,” Jadeja added.