In impressive form with the bat in his debut series, rookie spinner Jayant Yadav on Sunday credited his Ranji Trophy team for helping him develop as an all-round cricketer.
The Haryana off-spinner has been impressive with both bat and ball during the ongoing five-match Test series against England.
He batted with control and authority on Sunday — completing a century and figuring in an eighth-wicket stand of 241 runs alongside India skipper Virat Kohli — to help the hosts amass a massive total of 631 runs in their first innings and take control of the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium.
“I was always a handy batsman, since I started playing junior cricket. As I came up the ranks I always wanted to build this side of my game. I think my Ranji Trophy team really helped me to do it,” Yadav told reporters after the end of the day’s play.
“Even though I was batting down the order, I had a responsibility that helped me grow as an all-round player.”
The 26-year-old scored 104 runs with 15 boundaries before being stumped off England spinner Adil Rashid’s bowling while attempting another big shot.
He credited Kohli for helping him reach his maiden Test century by constantly giving him advice during the innings.
“We talked about what was happening in the match between overs. Is he trying to do something different or is he going to stick to the same strategy he employed in the last over? We occasionally had a bit of a laugh as well,” Yadav said.
“He just told me to keep going, not focus on the runs and keep playing ball to ball.”
Declining to comment on the ongoing debate about the differences in quality between the Indian and England spinners, the Haryana player admitted that he was not thinking about his century when he and Kohli walked out to bat in the morning.
“When I came out to bat in the morning, I was just vying for the half-century. I was 20 runs short. I just went with the flow. Things just kept happening,” he said.