He has been coaching in England for past three decades but for Debu Mitra, it was an immensely enjoyable experience as he witnessed one his favourite wards Ravindra Jadeja`s brilliant spell from the Oval stands.
"It was great to hear the crowd cheering his name whenever he took wickets. Such adulation is normally reserved for the big boys of Indian cricket like a Tendulkar. For me, Jadeja is a complete package," Mitra, who has also been Sourav Ganguly`s childhood coach, told PTI
Mitra, who has been guuiding the likes of Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara as Saurashtra coach had a word of caution for the all-rounder.
"Jadeja can`t take his place for granted in the India team. He has to keep performing," the veteran stated.
"The only way you can keep your place in the Indian team is by performance. The captain only believes in you, when you are delivering. Otherwise, you are nothing," the 65-year-old, who is known to be precise in his assessment of players said.
Mitra revealed how Jadeja had become disillusioned after not being able to make it to the Indian squad for the 2011 World Cup.
"Two years back, after he was dropped from the India team and not even considered for the 2011 World Cup, Jadeja was disillusioned about his bowling. He seemed to have lost focus and the urge to hone his bowling skills," Mitra said.
"It took a bit to tell him that his only passport to the national side was his left-arm spin bowling. He heeded what I said and then really worked very hard, bowling for hours at the nets," said Mitra.
Mitra however gets worked up the moment one mentions that Jadeja has reaped the benefits of his close association with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"It quite angers me when the media tries to find such silly links. Did Dhoni save Jadeja when he was dropped from the Indian team for the World cup? If you perform, no one can stop you. Jadeja`s main job is to bowl and the fact that he can bat too, is a great bonus," Mitra said.
"No captain can ignore his worth in the team. He will get you wickets, score 30-40 odd runs in quick time and he is a superb fielder. Just the kind of abilities you want in a No. 7-8 player in your team," one could easily gauge the pride in his voice about his student`s achievements.
Jadeja`s all-round skills make him a great choice for Test cricket as well.
"You can`t compare him to a Pragyan Ojha, who specializes in left-arm spin. Jadeja is unique and will always have an edge. But as I said, he has do well in all three departments and that is the biggest challenge for him every day," the veteran coach said.