After another IPL debacle, Unadkat eyes good season

After another IPL debacle, Unadkat eyes good season

Jaydev Unadkat, who last played for India in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka last year, said he is keen on proving that he belongs to the next level. AFP

In the last two years, there has been a certain pattern to Jaydev Unadkat’s career. Impressive domestic seasons have fetched him big money at the Indian Premier League. In 2018, Rajasthan Royals bought him for a record Rs 11.5 crore. A season later, a terrific show in the Ranji Trophy made him the costliest buy at Rs 8.4 crore as he was bought back by Royals. However, Unadkat flattered to deceive in both editions.  

“I am going to work my pants off,” Unadkat had said after his disappointing show of 11 wickets from 15 games at an average of 44.18 in 2018. This year there was no change in the script. From 11 games, he managed just 10 wickets at an average of 39.80. The 27-year-old’s expensive economy rate of 10.66 turned out to be a big headache for the Royals, who managed to win just five games. Not surprisingly, he faced the wrath of fans on social media.

Reflecting on his dreadful show, Unadkat confessed that he failed to execute his plans. “There was a role given to me at Rajasthan and I agree that I couldn’t fulfil it completely. Many have asked me if I found it tough to adapt to the format but that wasn’t the problem. I did well in first-class cricket and I could have been successful in IPL if only my execution was better,” Unadkat, who was here playing the Duleep Trophy final for India Red against India Green, said.

In an Indian pace attack dominated by right-armers, Khaleel Ahmed has been the preferred left-arm seamer, with the Rajasthan player having been picked for the recent three-match ODI series against the West Indies. Unadkat, who last played for India in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka last year, said he is keen on proving that he belongs to the next level. For someone who has worked on his pace and rhythm over the years, Unadkat is now keen on adding variety to his bowling. 

“I am right up there in terms of mental levels. I am training to excel in all formats. In multi-day cricket, I am trying to remain injury-free and be accurate in matches. For white ball, I have tried to add some kind of variety to my armoury this season. I started working on this after this IPL, like bowling knuckle balls and finger balls,” he offered.  

With 39 wickets, the skipper was one of the star performers in Saurashtra’s runner-up finish in Ranji Trophy last season. Unadkat is confident of another big season. “I always believe that one fiery spell can change your career. I want to continue from where I left off last season. This season will be better,” he said. 

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