Rabbit in the Hat: Ravindra Jadeja
FHM: How many endorsements do you have to do? Have you gotten used to them?
R. Jadeja: I’ve shot 3-4 shoots for Nike recently. To be honest sometimes when they keep asking for different expressions, looks etc., and I’m like ‘What the hell’, but then I see the pictures on a billboard.
FHM: For most blokes, keeping their eyes open when a camera flash goes off is at par at scoring a century.
R. Jadeja: Thankfully, there are a lot of lights in the ground, so I’ve gotten used to it.
FHM: South Africa was hugely successful for you, but what was the ‘Finally people will stop talking’ comment about?
R. Jadeja: People always comment — he takes wickets only in India, on outside wickets the ball is not going to turn etc. God knows what happiness they get out of it, so the 6 wickets I took in South Africa was an answer to them.
FHM: Are you satisfied with your batting?
R. Jadeja: I am. In One Days I did okay – got a 30 and then 27-28, so I don’t think there’s a problem in my batting technique. In Tests, when I got out in the last innings I had gone with the intention of standing and delivering, but it didn’t happen, so I was unlucky. Will try harder next time.
FHM: What about NZ? What are the things you are working on specifically for that tour, considering how important it is?
R. Jadeja: Every series is important for India.
FHM: What about the series’ in which we invite countries to play cricket on our soil just to beat them in our conditions?
R. Jadeja: A series is a series, and they all are important. All of us played good cricket in South Africa although we couldn’t win, but it’s not like we are only lions at home.
FHM: But the problem with bounce obviously remains?
R. Jadeja: Not as much as you think. Pujara got a 100, so did Virat… everyone made runs. Plus, I don’t think the NZ bowling attack is as good as South Africa’s, so we can do better against them.
FHM: If we lose the NZ series, India won’t be the No 1 team anymore. Does the chatter in the dressing room revolve around rankings?
R. Jadeja: We take each match one by one. It’s not like we just say ‘Win 5 out of 5 matches’. We make team strategy, look at matches one after the other and look at winning the first 3. If we do that, then we are in a better position mentally.
FHM: What about you personally? When you are bowling, is there ever a time you say ‘3 wickets more’ and I go up 2 ranks?
R. Jadeja: Actually, I didn’t even know about the rankings and only saw on Twitter that I had become No 1! I don’t ever open Cricinfo, which means half the time I have no clue where I stand. It’s true though that I never imagined I’d be the No 1 bowler.
FHM: Speaking of Twitter, you are one of the most famous cricketers on it… how did the ‘Sir’ bit start?
R. Jadeja: Someone started it on Twitter during the last IPL and people picked it up. As long as it’s funny, I don’t mind. I don’t follow too many people, so have no clue who’s saying what. People mention me, but I don’t take it too seriously. There are absolutely hilarious ones online — though during IPL and then the Rajnikanth ones.
FHM: Surely you take the comparisons to Rajinikanth as a compliment.
R. Jadeja: Yeah, someone tweeted that I gave an award to my school principal. I loved it. I do read things sometimes when they pop up, but I’m not too active.
FHM: Are you happy to be back in Chennai for this IPL?
R. Jadeja: Yes. Our management group knows a lot about cricket and they don’t put any pressure on us, plus, we’ve won the IPL, Champions League already so there is no pressure.
FHM: Joe Dawes has said that he wants to make you into Wasim Akram…
R. Jadejai: It’s huge that they think I can do something for the team. His thought was that if there is a seaming wicket and there is no spin, I could play the role of the fourth fast bowler. He was mentally preparing me for this and even made me practice in the nets.
FHM: Do you ever think about the season you were banned from the IPL? Are you more passionate about IPL?
R. Jadeja: Not really. Also, for me, cricket is cricket. I just came back from playing a match for the district and I play at any level — IPL, Indian Team or District Match.
FHM: With fame comes money, what do you do with yours?
R. Jadeja: The restaurant I started last year is also doing well and I’m not that fond of cars. I’ve bought a Hayabusa, but don’t get time to ride it though. I’m passionate about horses, so I spend my time there.
FHM: Horses… like a stud farm?
R. Jadeja: Yeah, I have three horses on my farm and I love riding, but no derbies.
FHM: You recently got engaged, do you think the team will give you a bachelor party?
R. Jadeja: We’ll see when it happens. There are no plans of marriage for the next two years.
FHM: Two years is a long time, especially for a cricketer. There must be a lot of women hitting on you…
R. Jadeja: Haha! What do you mean? Everyone has fans. There are some who send flowers, cards and all that or send messages... but that’s all.
FHM: As long as there are no letters in blood, you should be okay.
R. Jadeja: I wish it doesn’t come to that. Ravindra Jadeja endorses Nike Air Max Lunar90 sneakers.