Chennai, April 16 (IANS) India batsman Kedar Jadhav on Thursday said he owes a lot to former captain M.S. Dhoni who backed him throughout his career and helped him play so many One Day Internationals (ODIs) for the country. ODI specialist Kedar was dropped from the squad for India's home series against South Africa. The three-match ODI series eventually was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While it looks like this is the end of the road for the 35-year old, it would be fair to say Kedar enjoyed a decent run in 50-over cricket, playing 73 ODIs.
“Growing up Sachin (Tendulkar) was my idol like every aspiring cricketer. I regret I could not play with him. But when it comes to favourite cricketer, it has to be Dhoni,” Kedar said during Chennai Super Kings's Instagram Live chat.
“When I met Mahi bhai I thought he is India's captain and he would be very strict. After meeting him, I don't see any other image when it comes to favourite cricketer,” said Kedar who has made 1389 runs with two hundreds and six fifties for India since making his debut in 2014.
“I could have played 8-10 ODIs but Mahi bhai supported me and he had a calming effect on me. When I see him I get confidence and if you get that from your captain, it helps a lot,” he said.
Asked about his unique side-arm bowling action, Kedar said he tried it during the 2016 New Zealand home series and Dhoni backed him.
“I tried it at the nets. That time Anil (Kumble) bhai was the coach and he said no it's legal. Then in the 1st ODI, I got Jimmy Neesham out (caught and bowled). That was my first wicket and then Mahi bhai gave me the confidence that I can bowl. I had not bowled much in domestic cricket also. But it was because of him that I got confidence.”
A massive Salman Khan fan, Jadhav was asked to pick between the Bollywood superstar and Dhoni.
“Because of M.S. Dhoni I got to play however many matches I played and also because of Mahi bhai I got to meet Salman Khan. So I can't pick between the two. It's like asking to choose between Mum and Dad,” he added.