Jaydev Unadkat was hopeful of returning to the India Test squad but says he still has a lot of time and not feeling frustrated for sure. It’s been over 10 years since pacer Jaydev Unadkat, then 19, made his India Test debut. He bowled 26 wicketless overs for 156 runs against South Africa, not a remarkable first appearance but surely not something that would mean it should be his only international appearance in the format so far.
Jaydev Unadkat Felt He Deserved A Chance In Australian Tour
Jaydev Unadkat has since developed into a reliable left-arm pacer with consistent performances year after year in the domestic circuit. Not that he hasn’t played for India since 2010 – he had sporadic appearances in white-ball limited-overs cricket (7 ODIs and 10 T20Is between 2013 and 2018).
But given the number of fast bowlers India has tried in the past six months in Test cricket alone, the 29-year-old, who finished as the leading wicket-taker of the last Ranji Trophy season, feels a little let down.
“I felt (exclusion from) Australia tour was fine because everyone was fit in the main squad. But later on, (looking at) those who got chances due to injuries, I felt I deserved one,” Unadkat told The Hindu.
His consistent performances in the domestic circuit and IPL helped him gain selection for India’s tour of Zimbabwe in July 2013, where he made his ODI debut. It proved a largely successful trip, as he picked up eight wickets in five matches. He later played two more ODIs in the upcoming home season – against Australia and West Indies – but went wicketless in both.
He picked 8 scalps in 7 ODIs and 14 scalps in 10 T20Is besides the solitary Test. His last T20I appearance came in 2018. In 84 IPL matches, he has 85 scalps besides his name.
Jaydev Unadkat Was Hoping To Make It To The England Tour And Is Disappointed But Not Frustrated
He was also hopeful that for the 2021 England tour, where India is to play six Tests starting with June 18’s World Test Championship final, he would be given a chance. However, he wasn’t even named among the standbys with the pace trio of Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Arzan Nagwaswalla making the cut in the list instead.
“I was hoping to make it to the England tour. As simple as that. I have said in the past that the guys who are at the top are doing well, so I have to wait for my chance. This time around, I have been honestly disappointed. I’ll still take the disappointment positively to motivate myself to do better,” Unadkat said.
However, Jaydev Unadkat, who has taken 327 wickets in 89 First-Class matches so far, isn’t frustrated.
“I haven’t reached that level of frustration for sure. As I look at it, it’s not now or never for me. When I say I am at my peak, it’s still four or five years more to remain at my peak,” he said.
“I am 29 and because I made my debut early (in 2010), people consider me ‘old’. I was a teenager when I made my Test debut a decade ago, so I still have a lot of time. I am not that frustrated for sure,” he added.
While Rajasthan Royals had released Jaydev Unadkat after the IPL 2019, they bought him back at the auction for INR 3 crores and retained him for the IPL 2021. The 2017 IPL season was one of the best for Jaydev Unadkat, who claimed 24 wickets from 12 matches for the defunct Rising Pune Supergiants.
With 11 wickets in 15 games in IPL 2018, the pacer was probably bogged down by the expectation of a high salary he received at the IPL Player Auction 2018.
However, after being released initially, RR bought him back for INR 8.4 crore at the auction prior to the 2019 season, showing faith in his ability. In IPL 2021-his fourth season with the Rajasthan Royals- he picked 4 scalps in as many matches averaging 28.25.