“I feel great. My hand is a little sore from holding the bat for such a prolonged period. But if you tell me to go and bat for another day right now, I will do that without a second thought,” he says.
The right-hander who resumed from his overnight score of 102 batted eight-and-a-half-hour for his 327. In the process, Jadhav broke Vijay Hazare’s 74-year-old record of 316 against Baroda.
Jadhav’s knock had 54 boundaries and hit two huge sixes. He scored 411 runs last season at an average of 41.10, but did not score a single century. This year, Jadhav already has scored more than half those runs in a single game and can’t wait to get more.
Jadhav says the faith shown in him by Maharashtra coach Dermot Reeve was instrumental in giving him the confidence to construct his innings. “Coach told me in the morning to just go and enjoy my batting. He just said it was my show and the team would be more than happy to admire my batting. The way he spoke to me was crucial in putting me in the right frame of mind,” he said.
Jadhav has always been a flamboyant batsman, and said he worked on calming his mind pre-season to stay at the wicket. “My average is 40.34 but I have only scored two hundreds before this knock. I was consistently scoring but trying to play too many shots. For two months, I just worked on slowing things down in my mind and improving my defence,” he says. “Earlier I didn’t really understand the value of a defensive shot but over the past two months, I have been learning to use defence in a judicious manner.”
Jadhav says the glide to third man off Bhuvneshwar Kumar was his favourite shot of the day. “It just got me a single but that is the most important run in my life till now. It took me from 299 to 300 and I will cherish that little dab all my life,” he says.
He is satisfied with his knock but says he would have loved to remain unbeaten till stumps. “I wanted to walk back with my wicket intact but somehow I lost a bit of concentration and dragged my foot out of the crease,” he says. “It was a freak dismissal but that’s how cricket is.”