“Destined to get his 500th wicket in my hometown”: Jadeja on Ashwin joining elite club in Tests

 Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said on Wednesday that his partner-in-spin Ravichandran Ashwin will finally reach the landmark of 500 Test wickets in his hometown and expressed happiness at his teammate being on the cusp of accomplishing such a huge milestone.

The third Test between India and England will take place on Rajkot from Thursday onwards. The series is level at 1-1. A key moment that is being anticipated in this series is Ashwin touching 500 Test wickets and becoming only second Indian and ninth overall bowler to do so.Currently, Ashwin is at 499 Test wickets in 97 matches at an average of 23.92. His best bowling figures are 7/59. Ashwin has taken nine wickets in two matches so far in this series.

Speaking to the media in the pre-match press conference, Jadeja said, “He will take it here (Ashwin taking 500 Test scalps), nothing to worry about. I am very happy for him, been playing with him for years. Thought he would get it in the first test match, it is okay. It is destiny that he will get it here in my hometown.”Speaking of England’s highly-attacking, positive and result-oriented Bazball approach, that has helped them deliver some fine counterattacks against Indian bowlers and even use ramp and sweep shots against spinners judiciously, Jadeja said that he is trying to keep things simple and not change up his style.

“You can start thinking of where should I bowl. They are sweeping and all, but in my opinion, it is to keep it simple, not change,” he said.In the absence of stars like KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli etc and KS Bharat’s poor performances with the bat, the Indian middle-order could boast of new stars from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Ranji Trophy circuit like Rajat Patidar, Devdutt Padikkal, Sarfaraz Khan and wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel.

Jadeja said that all these youngsters have been playing regular first-class cricket and the call-up was inevitable given their fine performances.”All these new boys have been playing First-Class cricket regularly, pakke pakkaya (ready) players hai. They were all ready, the India call-up was inevitable. It is good for them to start their career on home soil,” said Jadeja.

During the first Test, Jadeja sustained a hamstring injury and the all-rounder said that he is always in a “hot spot” when it comes to his workload.”Body will return to rhythm after playing for one to two days (after injury). A lot of cricket is being played these days. I cannot hide in the field. I am always in a hot spot. The team also expects that from me. I am happy to do that. Yes, I have to be careful but that cannot be managed,” said the all-rounder.

The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot while the fourth Test kickstarts in Ranchi on February 23 The fifth and final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7. The series is currently level 1-1. After a 28-run loss in the first Hyderabad Test, India won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.India’s updated Squad for the third Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal. (ANI)

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