Jaydev Unadkat is hopeful that the recently-concluded Sri Lanka series, in which he played three T20I games, could prove to be a turnaround in his international career. He has also added that he got the confidence and needs to back his strengths in each and every situation of the game.
Despite being a consistent performer at the domestic level, the luck had always deserted Unadkat at the highest level. Having been fast-tracked into Test cricket in 2010, Unadkat had to wait another three years to play a One-Day International and although he impressed in the second ODI he played, picking up four wickets, but more opportunities never really came his way. But after doing exceptionally well in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season for Saurashtra, and doing well in the Indian Premier League where he picked 24 wickets - the second most after Bhuvneshwar Kumar - at an average of 13.41 and an economy of a shade over seven, he was back in the contention and proved his selection by grabbing the man of the series award in the T20 series.
“This series has really helped me gain the confidence needed at International level. In the past also, whenever I have done well in domestic (cricket) I have got my chances. So it was about doing well out there and getting that confidence,” said Unadkat.
“It was just not coming to me when I played for India the previous time. But yes, this series has definitely been a turnaround for me and I really needed (it) at this point in my career and I would be really happy to take it forward from here,” he said at the post-match press conference as quoted by PTI.
"For a fast bowler, fitness is one aspect that really helps to build on the skills. It’s something that is not related to the game directly but its impact is going to be on the bowling. Maybe that’s the only thing that has changed and I have certainly matured as a player. Any player who plays through the
"Those are the times that you go through the grind and make out what your abilities are and where you need to improve. So after making my Test debut, going back into domestic cricket knowing already what needs to be done at the highest level did help me in that part of my career,” he added.
Unadkat has done really well through his variations while playing domestic cricket. The cutter and the other variations, in addition to his stock delivery, have ensured that he can be the perfect option for a left-arm pace bowler that India was searching for a long time.
His chances of comeback raised when Ashish Nehra decided to quit the game as Unadkat is a left-hand pacer who can be included in the squad to give the bowling attack a variety.
“That is something for the management to see for, but I would definitely agree that a left-arm seamer does add to the variety of the team’s attack and it would be awesome if I will be able to keep doing well and be a regular player in the limited-overs format.
“That is something I am looking forward to
The 26-year-old had a lot of experience of playing with and against the foreign and international players as he featured in 47 IPL games in which he claimed 56 wickets at an average of 23.35 including 5/25 as the best stat. He went on to acknowledge that the grind in the IPL and bowling on flat tracks has helped him become a better bowler.
“It’s about backing myself in high-pressure situations. I have seen all good players do that and I’ve learnt from them. Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar) does it extremely well in pressure situations. We see Jasprit (Bumrah) do that for India as well. Be it any situation, pressure or otherwise, I need to back my strengths,” he said.
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