Though he missed a spot in the cash-rich IPL, Kerala opener VA Jagadeesh is hopeful of a great show for India A in the ongoing series against New Zealand A. The 30-year-old batsman has been a solid player for Kerala in the past few seasons, scoring 2122 runs in 39 matches at an average of 35.96 in his first-class career.
Jagadeesh, who made his debut for Kerala against Himachal Pradesh in 2004, spoke to Cricketnext about his plans and strategies against a strong New Zealand side.
You've been picked to represent India A against New Zealand A. Your reaction?
I am excited and bit nervous too. Representing India is a big thing for me. Every cricketer wait for this moment and its like a dream come true for me. This is a big start and I have got a big platform this time. So, I want to give my best. New Zealand are a big side but I am ready to accept the challenges against them.
What's your mindset like going into the series?
I have played lots of domestic cricket. Thankfully, I had a great season last year in the Ranji Trophy. I have scored good runs in most of the matches and will try to carry forward that performance. I want to stick to my basics without any experiment. It is only the Ranji Trophy which helped me in my selection for India. Every morning, I go to the nets and try to face as much as deliveries. I don't want to leave anything when it comes to hard work. It is true that hard work always pays and it has. I will give my best against New Zealand.
What has your preparation been?
Thankfully, we have got a good coach - Mr Sanjay Bangar. He is an allrounder and gives all the tactics of batting, bowling and fielding too. Bangar sir has helped me a lot at the NCA. In the nets, he usually comes and gives me batting tips. He told me many things about the New Zealand side. The Kiwis have a good fielding side and they have good fast bowlers too. He asked me to bat with a positive approach and try to read the bowlers. The most important part is that the pacers like Dhawal Kulkarni and Vinay Kumar, who is representing the national side, are bowling to us in the nets here. Facing Vinay and Kulkarni is a plus point for all of us. We are learning a lot from them. If we stumble then they tell us how to deal with it.
Abhishek Nayar will be leading the side. How is he as captain?
Abhishek is an experienced player. If a captain is an allrounder, then nothing is better than that. We have got a superb captain, who helps us in batting and bowling too. He has played few games for the national side and he plans according to it.
Kerala has produced a couple promising young players of late. Sanju Samson and Sachin Baby have made it to the IPL as well. Do you regret not getting picked by a franchise?
I would love to play. I wanted to play in season six but due to some problem I couldn't. But I would like to play next season. I am really happy that my team-mates Sanju and Sachin are playing there. My favourite team is Sunrisers Hyderabad. If I get a chance, I will play for them. It was really nice to see the way Sanju played for Rajasthan Royals. He played brilliantly. It is obviously a nice experience when you play with star players of different countries. You sit with them and share experiences. I would love to have that learning experience.