Over the last 4-5 years, the speed bowling of the Indian cricket squad has seen significant development. Still, certain seamers, like Jaydev Unadkat, continue to wait for opportunities. Unadkat was sad when he saw the Indian cricket team give many debuts to youngsters during their tour of Australia last year. He couldn't be among those rookies.
Despite the absence of Virat Kohli, India's tour to Australia in the 2020-21 season was one of the most entertaining in the sport's history, with the team going on to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy while shattering the ‘Gabba Pride’ and defeating Tim Paine’s men in Brisbane.
Unadkat got a message of condolence from veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as he lamented his bad luck in witnessing Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, and others break into the playing XI.
In a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, Unadkat relived the time he received a text message from Ravichandran Ashwin with words of sympathy and motivation and the advice to continue to walk on the path that the pacer had chosen for his time to shine is around the corner.
Dear red ball, please give me one more chance.. I’ll make you proud, promise! pic.twitter.com/ThPUOpRlyR— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) January 4, 2022
“I feel for you and the way you have performed in the last [Ranji] season. But be right where you are in terms of your game and your mindset. Your time will come," the off-spinner had written to Unadkat on January 2, 2022.
The last time Unadkat was seen in the Blue Indian cricket team jersey was all the way back in March 2018 in a T20I match against Bangladesh. Over the course of his professional career, he has featured in just 1 Test, 7 ODIs and 10 T20Is.
Just another pace bowler who can bat.. pic.twitter.com/FlIEns2JB6— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) November 12, 2021
Such numbers are disappointing to see especially because he had been dominating the domestic circuit before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. During the 2019-20 season of the Ranji Trophy, Unadkat was the leading wicket-taker of the entire tournament with 67 scalps in 10 matches.
However, fearing the potential impact of the pandemic, the Indian cricket board decided to cancel the previous Ranji season and not a lot of red-ball matches were played in the domestic circuit.November 13, 2021
Furthermore, an expensive IPL contract with Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League and a rather expensive year with the ball turned Unadkat into a social media joke. Throughout the tournament, the cricketer was trolled and mocked. He played 6 matches and picked just 4 wickets and not a single soul spoke about his brilliance in Ranji.
Now, with a couple of weeks left for the IPL mega auction 2022, the fans have realised the kind of impact IPL has been having in the process of selecting players for international tours based on their performance during the T20 league. As a result, they feel sorry for the 30-year old:
Ipl can be the best & at the same time the worst platform for judging talents. Dinda, Unadkat, Faiz Fazal, Sheldon Jackson, all have had amazing domestic careers & are no less than legends there, but have had poor or less IPL outings. They all deserved opportunities in the ICT— Rahul Anand (@rah2309) January 29, 2022
People makes jokes of him because of his IPL price but they never see his domestic cricket.
He is contestantly doing great in domestic .
Unadkat is most underrated bowler in India .
He should be given chance in Tests Matches atleast .
Ashwin gave way for all these cricketers speak up but sadly IPL became pathway to indian team even for test squad so waste of these comments he never gonna play— Tarun (@tarun867) January 29, 2022
Won't work, as all BCCI cares about is IPL kids https://t.co/LuPr8nRTKc— Camlin Oil Pastels (@Crayon172) January 29, 2022