Since the time he represented the India team at the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2010, Jaydev Unadkat was looked at like a promising prospect for the senior side. By the end of that year, Unadkat was already in MS Dhoni’s side touring South Africa.
An injury to Zaheer Khan before the first Test meant the then 19-year-old pacer from Saurashtra made his Test debut. He bowled a wicketless spell and gave away 101 runs. Unadkat hasn’t played a single Test since then. Though, he represented India in T20Is and ODIs, the Saurashtra skipper has longed for another Test match for his country.
Recently, Jaydev Unadkat had a record season for his domestic side. He picked 67 wickets in the Ranji Trophy, most by any pacer in the history of the tournament. In fact, he missed the record of the highest number of wickets by any bowler in a Ranji season by just one wicket. Additionally, he guided Saurashtra to their maiden Ranji Trophy win as the captain. With this sensational performance, the talk of his India call-up has been doing rounds.
Recently, Saurashtra head coach Karsan Ghavri talked about the pacer’s return into the Indian Test side. “I do feel Unadkat should get a national call-up again,” Ghavri said while speaking to the Times of India. “He can bring the ball in and also take it away from the batsman. He (Unadkat) is very consistent and can keep bowling in the same area”.
“He has worked on his fitness and can bowl long spells now. He can operate with the new ball and also handle the old one. So you can use him in all situations”, Ghavri said while praising the Saurashtra captain.
‘Selectors can keep Unadkat in mind if they want to rest somebody’: Karsan Ghavri
The Indian team has had a great pace bowling unit in recent times. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma have Virat Kohli’s top choices but Umesh Yadav has also played his bit whenever required. Speaking on the fact that the nation already has a good pace unit, the Saurashtra coach said– “Yes it’s true we have a great pace unit now. But I will say the. All our pacers are right-handed. A left-hander thus provides you with a different option. A right-hand left-hand combination often unsettles batsmen”, Ghavri pointed out.
India hasn’t had a left-arm pacer playing Tests for India since Zaheer Khan last Test in 2014. Recently after winning the Ranji Trophy, Saurashtra and India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara praised the 28-year-old pacer. In an interview, Pujara said that he will be very surprised if his teammate and domestic team skipper, Unadkat doesn’t get a national call-up soon.
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