One of the most experienced players at Rajasthan Royals (RR), Saurashtra’s captain Jaydev Unadkat had a fruitful start to IPL 2021, picking up 3/15 in his first appearance for the team, and already matching last season’s wicket tally with seven league matches remaining.
The 29-year-old was in his hometown of Rajkot before leaving for the resumption of the season in UAE, and expressed his thoughts on a variety of topics including the first phase of the tournament which was held in India.
“It’s been a good start for the team and for me personally as well. That game (against DC) was crucial, I was coming back into the team, so I had to do well. I was pretty happy with the way I was bowling in that part of the season, and I’ll be looking to continue doing the same in this phase as well but with a few improvements that I’ve been working on during the off season,” Unadkat expressed ahead of the season 14 resumption.
The left-arm pacer elaborated on what he has worked on saying: “I have worked on some of the technicalities in my bowling. I wanted to make a few changes in my bowling action, so was working on that, and that itself requires a good amount of time, so I was devoted towards making those changes and getting used to them.”
Having led the bowling attack for the Royals, the experienced pacer who has 85 wickets in 84 IPL matches, says he enjoys the role.
“I think I’ve been playing that role in our team for the past 2-3 years because of the experience I have in the IPL till now, and I quite like to do it. Nowadays to be honest, it’s not about one leader in the pack, everyone who is coming in has played at the highest level somewhere or the other down the line,” he said.
“Everyone knows their individual game and it’s only about maybe guiding them whenever required or about providing the strategic inputs whenever the team needs it. So, I think I kind of enjoy that role and I will be looking to play it going forward as well,” added the Saurashtra captain.
Being someone who keeps taking breaks from social media, Unadkat explained the reason behind it saying: “I wanted to do some work with my bowling and wanted to go off the attention a bit. It’s always nice if you can have some time with only yourself and the family, and not really listen to what the outside world has to say about you.”
“I think that kind of a phase can actually help you at times. And I’ve done that in the past as well so it’s kind of a normal process which gives me that space to go deep and just be honest with myself and find out what I need to work on, and what I’m good at. That helps in gathering the confidence again and come back stronger,” he added.
Unadkat’s fellow Saurashtra and Rajasthan Royals pacer, Chetan Sakariya recently made it to the Indian team and the former reckons it is just the start.
“He’s a very honest guy, keeps working hard for his game so it’s good to see him get rewarded. He’s been doing that for Saurashtra and now he did that for RR as well. So yes, really happy for him and I believe he’ll only learn and get better as he’s quite young,” Unadkat expressed.
Revealing what their conversations are like, Unadkat said that the duo talks about the “technical aspects of bowling,” and Chetan comes up to him “whenever he has doubts in his bowling.”
Looking forward to the upcoming IPL season in the UAE, Unadkat stated that he “would try to keep the rhythm going”.
“I think I was bowling well and hopefully with the work that I’ve put in, I’ll be able to see those results coming out as well. I’ll be looking to get those crucial wickets and breakthroughs for the team with the new ball. Collectively, I think we’re placed right in the table and if we can get couple of wins from here, it can really boost our campaign this season,” he said.
The pacer also believes that the “conditions will be similar to last year.” “It is harder to bowl when the boundaries are smaller like in Sharjah, because the batsmen are more confident of clearing the boundary, but you got to accept the challenge and find ways to bowl. We know that those games are going to be high scoring, so you got to be aware that even if you get hit, you must come back stronger,” he said.
“It’s not about going for 24 runs or getting 2 wickets – it’s about restricting those boundaries. In a ground which is small, and has flat wickets, every single ball matters. We’ve played quite a few games on all the grounds last season, and the wickets and the weather are going to be similar, and we’re confident that we can do well,” he signed off.
The 2021 edition of the IPL will resume on September 19 in the UAE.