Kedar, 327 ‘not tired’
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Kedar Jadhav is ready to go out and bat some more. This immediately after he logged the second highest score in Maharashtra's Ranji Trophy history, cracking a flawless 327 against Uttar Pradesh in Maharashtra's opening game.
"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."