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‘I can get injured again tomorrow’: Ravindra Jadeja ‘won’t dive unless…’; wants to ‘protect body’ at all cost

Ravindra Jadeja wants to protect his body no matter when he returns to action in the 3rd India vs England Test.

Ravindra Jadeja on Wednesday confirmed his availability for the 3rd Test between India and England starting tomorrow at Rajkot. Ruled out of the second Test is Visakhapatnam following a hamstring which he picked up in Hyderabad, Jadeja has recovered fully and is ready to hit the ground running as India aim for a 2-1 lead. The all-rounder’s inclusion comes as a huge sigh of relief for India, who are already without Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, with Jadeja’s presence giving the Indian team a much-needed batting boost.

Ravindra Jadeja understands that being a good fielder comes with its set of risks. (PTI)

However, Jadeja’s role in the field could be slightly limited as per his own confession. A hamstring injury can take a good chunk of time to heal, so the fact that Jadeja has attained full fitness is nothing short of a miracle. At 35, in order for Jadeja – one of the best fielders in the world – to continue, the all-rounder has insisted on the need to protect his body, while trying to give his best.

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“Nothing has changed. We have the same excitement, and play with the same pride. The idea is to give my 100 percent but protect my body. Try not to dive unless absolutely necessary,” Jadeja said on the eve of the third Test on his home ground.

Ravindra Jadeja aware of the risks

Jadeja underwent intense rehabilitation at the NCA during his time away following the second Test, and the three-week long gap seems to have worked wonders. Over the last two years, Jadeja has gotten injured frequently – in fact, over the last two years, this is the fifth time he has missed action due to injuries. Since 2021, Jadeja has hurt his thumb, forearm, rib, knee and most recently, his hammy. Jadeja’s recovery was almost considered as an afterthought, so much so that when Rahul was declared unfit for Rajkot, all the focus was on him. Entirely because the belief was Jadeja won’t recover in time. Well, he has… and suddenly, the Indian line-up doesn’t look that inexperienced anymore.

Also Read: Kuldeep Yadav lets slip India’s Ravindra Jadeja plan as Ben Stokes and Co. gear up for major threat in Rajkot

With such roadblocks, it’s but natural to feel frustrated, and Jadeja is no different, but at the same time, the all-rounder understands the risks that come with the fielding standards he has set for himself. Jadeja usually is at lightning positions, such as point or covers. In the deep, he is protecting the boundary at either long-on and long-off, again an area where batters tend to hit the ball a lot. With so much running, bending and diving involved, it becomes all the more crucial for Jadeja to care for his body a lot more now than before.

“It happens (the feeling of frustration creeping in) due to repeated injuries. But these days, there is so much cricket that’s happening. That also plays on the mind. As far as my fielding is concerned, I cannot hide and field. I am always in the hotspot irrespective of the format. So that could also be a reason that the ball comes to me too often. The team expects me to grab a good catch, and affect a run out. I can work a little more smartly on my body and if I can do that I don’t think there’ll be any problems as such. Then again, there’s no guarantee. I can go out tomorrow and get injured again. You never know,” added Jadeja.


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