Jaydev Unadkat set an example for many upcoming bowlers of how to knock the door of the national selectors through their performances. His record-breaking Ranji Trophy as captain helped Saurashtra win their first Ranji Trophy title since changing their name. Saurashtra was referred to as Nawanagar and Western India who won the Ranji title in 1936-37 and 1943-44 respectively. In the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, Unadkat claimed 67 wickets which are the most for any pacer surpassing Dooda Ganesh’s 62 wickets in 1998-99 season.
In fact, the left-arm pacer’s 67 wickets are only behind Ashutosh Aman’s 68 wickets during the 2018-19 season in the list of most wickets in a Ranji Trophy edition. Adding to those 67 wickets, Jaydev scalped 76 wickets in first-class cricket during the 2019-20 season which includes 9 wickets in the Duleep Trophy at the start of the season. The 76 wickets put Unadkat among the top-15 list of most wickets picked up in a first-class season on Indian soil.
Among the pacers, only Maurice Tate (87 wickets in 1926-27) and Kapil Dev (79 wickets in 1979-980) took as many as 76 FC wickets in India during a season. Unadkat could have moved ahead of Kapil had the Irani Cup taken place before the COVID-19 break. Maurice played a total of 22 FC matches for the 87 wickets during MCC’s tour of India and Sri Lanka. Tate picked up 12 wickets across two FC games he played in Burma and added 17 wickets to his tally across 4 matches in Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka).
Bishan Singh Bedi holds the record for picking up most wickets in a first-class season on Indian soil as he finished 1974-75 and 1976-77 seasons with 88 scalps apiece. Jaydev Unadkat was consistent with white ball too as he stood out as Saurashtra’s leading wicket-taker in both the limited-overs competitions. Unadkat took 15 wickets in 8 games during the Vijay Hazare Trophy and 12 wickets from 7 matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
He added two wickets from two One-Day matches for India A to extend his season’s tally to 105 wickets on the Indian soil only across all formats. Unadkat, in this process, became only the 3rd player to have picked up over 100 wickets in professional cricket in an Indian season. Anil Kumble tops the list with 116 wickets during the 1997-98 season. Vinay Kumar also took 105 wickets during the 2013-14 season with the majority of them coming in One-Day matches. Unadkat could have surpassed Vinay’s tally if he got to play Irani Cup this season.
(Stats as on April 14, 2020)
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