Hope to get better pitches in tournament, says Jadeja

London: All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is hoping to get better pitches in the World Cup than the one at Kennigton Oval where India’s batsmen were blown away by New Zealand in their first warm-up game.

With a brisk half-century, Jadeja was the only batsman to stand out in a dismal performance. But the senior player assured there was nothing to worry about. “It was typical English conditions, the wicket was soft initially but it got better as the game progressed. We are hoping that we don’t get this much amount of grass and get a better wicket to bat in the World Cup,” Jadeja said at the post-match press conference.

Opting to bat, India were all out for 179 in conditions slightly favourable to bowlers, and New Zealand chased down the target with plenty to spare. “This is our first game, it is just one game and we can’t judge players on one bad inning, one bad match. So nothing to worry as a batting unit,” Jadeja said.

“It is always difficult in England, you are coming from India, where you play on flat wickets, we still have time to work on it. There is nothing to worry, we just have to keep playing good cricket. As a batting unit, we will work harder on our batting skills, everyone has a lot of experience, so nothing to worry.”

Jadeja said the aim was to utilise the opportunity of batting out the remaining overs after he walked in to bat in the 20th over. “I was telling myself that my shot selection should not be faulty. There was no rush,” he said.

“There were many overs left. So I was taking my time. I knew that if I could play out the initial overs then it would become easy gradually. I kept my shot selection very limited in that initial phase. That proved beneficial. I played out the good overs they bowled me early on and then it became easy.”

Asked about India’s decision to bat first in seaming conditions, Jadeja said: “We knew there will be seaming conditions, so we decided to bat to face tough conditions because if we bat in such conditions it will be easy for batsmen in actual matches. We took it as a challenge. We will do well, we have no doubt.”

Jadeja said he will look to play his natural game and not put himself under pressure during the showpiece event. “Everywhere I play, I will continue doing what I do. I will not put pressure on myself thinking about the world cup, will try to keep it simple,” he said.

Jadeja blasted 54 off 50 balls, and the knock was studded with six fours and two sixes. Talking about his innings, Jadeja said: “I had a lot of time, there were lot of overs. So I was talking to myself to not get the shot selection wrong. There was no rush. I knew if I can clear the initial overs, it will be helpful for me and that is what happened,” he said.

“I was working on my batting during IPL. Whenever I get a chance, I go to the nets and work on basic technique and basic shot selection.”