India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said on Sunday, February 11, that he has been focussing more on his batting in order to make a comeback into the Indian limited-over sides.
Jadeja said he does not want to be recognised as a part-time batsman and revealed that MS Dhoni has assured him of more batting chances in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season at Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The world number three Test bowler last played for India in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka last year as he did not make it to the playing XI in the recently-concluded Test rubber in South Africa.
Moreover, the Saurashtra spinner has not been part of India's limited-overs setup since July 2017 as he along with off-spinner R Ashwin have been pushed to the sidelines by wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who have been consistently winning ODI and T20I matches for India.
Jadeja's recent form with the ball in the Vijay Hazare Trophy is also not contributing to his comeback chances as he has not picked up a single wicket in four outings for Saurashtra.
The left-hander picked up a side-strain during Sunday's Vijay Hazare outing against Jharkhand in Secunderabad. He bowled only two overs but came out to bat and hit a match-winning 113 to help his side gun down a 330-run target.
"Mahi bhai [Dhoni] told me that I will get batting opportunities in the IPL this year. He said that I have the ability of a proper batsman, and I am not the flash in the pan type of batsman. And I should think like that," Jadeja told The New Indian Express.
"It was really encouraging for me. So, I am concentrating more on the batting aspect of my game and trying to get used to playing the anchor role," he added.
"I am quite happy with the way I am bowling. In fact, I am focusing more on my batting now. I do not want to be a player who is known for hitting those 20-odd runs. I want to play the anchor role, just like I did today [Sunday]."
Wrist spinners doing the trick for India
When Ashwin and Jadeja were dropped for the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka, the selectors had said the decision was part of India's rotation policy. However, the consistent performances of wrist spinners Kuldeep and Chahal have made it tough for the team management to go back to finger spinners.
Notably, Kuldeep and Chahal have been in fine form in the ongoing ODI series against South Africa. The two have taken 24 wickets between them in four matches as Virat Kohli's men are a win away from clinching an unprecedented series win in the "Rainbow Nation".