A troubled knee that required surgery kept the star India all-rounder away from cricket since August 2022 Asia Cup, which also forced him to miss the T20 World Cup. But now the 34-year-old is back on the field after a rigorous rehab and was seen training with the Indian team in Nagpur and set for an international comeback in the first Test against Australia.
In an interview posted on the BCCI website, Jadeja shed light on the gruelling process of his recovery and how the physios and the trainers at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) in Bengaluru worked round the clock to get him regain full fitness.
‘Do it for the country’ were the words of motivation by the trainers that kept Jadeja going in his tough journey after the surgery.
“I am very excited and happy that after almost more than five months, I get to wear the Indian jersey again. I have been blessed that I was given the opportunity again and the journey to reach here was full of up and downs. Because if you are not playing cricket for five months, it becomes very frustrating and obviously, I was eagerly waiting to get fit as soon as possible so that I can go play for India,” Jadeja said.
Excitement of comeback 👌Story behind recovery 👍Happiness to wear #TeamIndia jersey once again 😊All-rounder… https://t.co/t3rHLCpHHr
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1675597024000
Jadeja disclosed how difficult the first two months after the surgery were when his family and friends came together and supported him.
“I had a problem with my knee and I had to get surgery sooner or later. But I had to take the decision whether I would have it before the World Cup or after. So, the doctor also advised me to do it before the World Cup because my chances of playing the World Cup were anyway pretty less. So I made up my mind and went for the surgery.
“The period after that (surgery) was pretty difficult because you have to continuously do rehab and training. You had thoughts in your head about your fitness When you saw the matches on TV, like I was watching the World Cup, I wished that I was there.
“These small things motivate you to speed up the recovery process,” he said about the post-surgery recovery period.
“The physios and trainers at the NCA worked a lot on my knee. Even when the NCA was closed on Sundays, they would come and specially treat me. The two months after the injury were especially tough because I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t walk properly. That was a pretty critical time and there my family and friends stood by my side. The NCA trainers also boosted my confidence,” he added.
The southpaw recently resumed playing when he featured in Saurashtra’s final round of Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu.
“I felt a bit awkward because I hadn’t been out in the sun for five months. I was doing indoor training so when I went into the middle I was thinking if my body can sustain.
“First day was very tough and we all know about Chennai’s heat. Then my body acclimatised to the situation and I felt good and fit,” he said.
Jadeja’s inclusion for the series against Australia will give the Indian team a solid boost in all the three departments as Rohit Sharma and co. need to win series handsomely to make it to the ICC World Test Championship Final.