Jackson, 33, racked up more than 800 runs for the second consecutive year to help Saurashtra win her inaugural Ranji Trophy after three failed attempts.
Jackson was one of the architects of the win with 809 runs to 50.56. The Bhavnagar-born hitter feels the effort he made to improve his fitness over the past 12 months played a huge role in his steady career this season.
"It was actually the Virat story that inspired me. With the exemplary skills he has, if he still thought he needed to get in shape then we have nothing in front of him," said Jackson, who saw the fitness regimen of Kohli up close. his time at the RCB in 2013.
By his own admission, Jackson was very "raw" in 2013, but six seasons later, he became Saurashtra's leading hitter in all formats. In fact, the Jaydev Unadkat-led team was a very oiled machine this season with both famous and lesser-known players producing match-winning performances.
"The people who helped me were normal gym coaches. My friends, who used to train with me in Ahmedabad, used to see that I was working hard but didn't get the results."
"Until last year I used to eat anything, as much trash as possible, but they (the gym coaches) were the ones who taught me how to eat well to perform. It has benefited me greatly in my recovery and strength," said Jackson, who is proud to be the only cricket player & # 39; six-pack & # 39; on the Saurashtra team.
The hitter, who works for the Income Tax Office in Ahmedabad, made 854 runs even last year, but thought he could improve a lot on the fitness front. And that's what triggered the transformation.
"I thought cricket was a game of skill, but I was totally wrong. Cricket is a game of skill that needs a lot of fitness because if you are in shape, you can perform well under pressure, especially when your body is tired," he said.
Having last played for India A in 2016, Jackson has experienced frustration many times, but has not let him get over it. Saurashtra reached the Ranji final even last year, but neither player made the cut for India A.
Having questioned the selectors' decision to ignore the Saurashtra players after last season, all Jackson wants now is to play at a higher level. This is actually his wish for all of his teammates.
"I think Ranji's performances should be given due weight. Even Cheteshwar Pujara (his teammate) has spoken about it and, if he said it, it must have substance."
"We have not won many trophies in the last 10 years, but we have been constantly reaching the final. It is sad that Saurashtra is seen as a small team. I hope this perception will change sooner rather than later."
"We are performing year after year and the players need opportunities. First class cricket in India is so difficult that it is difficult to get knockouts, let alone make it to the final," he said.
People continue to remind him of his age, and although Jackson thinks it shouldn't be a selection criteria, he knows he's running out of time.
"I've heard a lot about my age since I turned 30. It's written nowhere where you can't play (at a higher level) after 30, but with the talent that India has, it's very easy to miss. "
"I am against this mentality, but it is what it is," added Jackson.