Cricket

How Ravindra Jadeja takes care of his mental health

Ravindra Jadeja   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A year-and-a-half leading up to the England tour of 2018 was hard on Ravindra Jadeja. It had been over eight years since he made his international debut. His potential as an all-rounder was still in question. He wasn’t a regular in the side, especially in the limited-overs format. Between January 2017 to June 2018, Jadeja was not a part of four Tests, 25 ODIs and 22 T20s that India played.

“It was one of the hardest phases of my life, I used to be awake till early morning thinking about the game. I was constantly contemplating on how to overcome my hurdles, boost my confidence, and up my game,” says Jadeja aka Jaddu from Southampton, where he is preparing for India’s World Test Championship (WTC) final against the world’s top-ranked side, New Zealand.

Jadeja is now an indispensable member of the team. His unbeaten 86 off 156 balls in the Oval Test of 2018 replenished his confidence. Impressive performances followed across formats. Sample: a first Test century against the West Indies in 2018, a 59-ball 77 in the 2019 World Cup semi-final (albeit in a losing cause), and a 28-ball 62 in the Indian Premier League this year.

The Oval Test knock, according to Jadeja, was a marker of his resurgence. He ceased having sleepless nights after that. But that innings was not a magic pill. “I worked hard on building my health and my mind,” he tells us in an interview organised by ASICS, the sports brand he is associated with.

Jadeja explains how he takes care of his mental health: “I stick to my routine that includes waking up early, following my diet, working out, spending time with my family, and most importantly with my daughter. She is my stress buster. Whenever I get a break, I visit my farmhouse and spend time with my horses as they have become a part of my life and have been there through all the highs and lows. My workout, especially running, is a vital part of my daily routine. I combine it with strength training and stretching to keep myself flexible.”

The last couple of years has been challenging for sportspersons across the world, having to be in bio-bubbles. “You can’t even meet your teammates, sometimes,” he says. This is why he is grateful for having his family with him. “It’s a big advantage to have them with you on tours. You can spend time with them when you have nothing to do. When there aren’t many restrictions, you can even go for a walk and explore new places with them,” he adds.

With the WTC final set to begin on Friday, the focus, however, is back on cricket. Jadeja, due to an injury, missed the historic Gabba Test in Australia earlier this year and the home series against England that followed. So, he is raring to be a part of what promises to be another special match against New Zealand.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:08:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ravindra-jadeja-mental-health-ind-eng/article34849095.ece

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