Back for India after a lengthy injury lay-off, the allrounder Kedar Jadhav played a big role in the team’s thumping eight-wicket win on Wednesday over Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup. While the formidable wrist-spinning pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled well but for just one wicket, Jadhav’s 3/23 helped pull back Pakistan’s innings.

Jadhav’s continued success as a wicket-taker, which began under the captaincy of MS Dhoni in 2016, was lauded by India skipper Rohit Sharma while Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed admitted after the loss that his team had been caught by surprise by Jadhav’s round-arm spin bowling.

After the match, Jadhav, 33, spoke of his priority to remain injury-free after undergoing surgery and how much he focuses on his off spin.

“It feels good to be on the winning side. I feel my fitness has improved after my surgery, and in the last four months I have learnt a lot about training and fitness,” said Jadhav. “It has definitely helped me and has made me a different cricketer. Honestly, right before a match I bowl a couple of overs in the practice session, but I don’t bowl a lot in the nets. I feel if I try too hard to be a bowler, I don’t want to compromise on the other skills that I already have. So I try to be in my limits.”

Jadhav returned to India’s ODI squad for the Asia Cup after successfully recovering from the hamstring injury that sidelined him from the first week of April until last month when he played for India A in Bengaluru.

“Every time I did my rehab previously, I used to start playing and think that the problems won’t come back again. Many-a-time I also used to miss my routine, but now regardless of how I feel, I start my day with either gym or running. That gives me confidence that I’m getting stronger and fitter every day, and that helps me on the field.”