The caravan of the 2020 Ranji Trophy season ended with Saurashtra finally laying their hands at the coveted trophy after three unsuccessful attempts in the past ten years. On a wicket that demanded long hours of grit and patience from both bowlers as well as batsmen, the home side stepped up to the challenge by posting a first-innings total of 425 before dismissing Bengal for 381.
One of the major reasons why Saurashtra was able to restrict Bengal for 381 was because of another lion-hearted effort by their skipper Jaydev Unadkat. The left-arm claimed the prize scalp of a well-set Anustup Majumdar leg-before-wicket before affecting the run-out of Akash Deep to decisively sway the game in his teams’ favour.
It has been that sort of a season for Unadkat- 67 wickets at an average of 13.23 – the most by a pacer in the history of the competition and the second-most overall- and his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara feels that he would be surprised if the left-hander does not get a call-up to the national side.
“Jaydev was modest that he would not be thinking about the Indian call but I will be surprised if he is not picked in the Indian team,” Pujara was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“Jaydev has bowled exceptionally well throughout the season. If someone takes 67 wickets in a season, I don’t think there is anyone who can perform better in the Ranji Trophy. There has to be a lot of importance to Ranji Trophy performance to get picked for the Indian team,” he added.
‘I still have that hunger to make a comeback’: Jaydev Unadkat
Unadkat, meanwhile, hasn’t played for the national side since featuring in a T20I against Bangladesh in 2018, but the southpaw revealed that he still has that insatiable hunger in him to stage a comeback.
“I still have that hunger to make a comeback. The hunger has never been stronger than this and that actually kept me going throughout the season,” said Unadkat.
Bowling on unhelpful tracks poses a physical as well as a mental challenge, something that Unadkat aced with disdain throughout the season and the title-winning skipper just wants to keep this phase going.
“To be honest, it was challenging physically surviving the season. Bowling those long spells as a fast bowler in almost every game. I just want to keep this phase going. I don’t want to end it here. Yes, we have won the trophy and I am the happiest captain in the world right now If I can say that.” he said.
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