regular-article-logo Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Didn’t feel pressure of replacing Kuldeep, says Jaydev Unadkat

Dear red ball, please give me one more chance.. I’ll make you proud, promise!” left-arm pacer had posted

PTI New Delhi Published 28.12.22, 05:26 AM
Jaydev Unadkat during the second Test against Bangladesh.

Jaydev Unadkat during the second Test against Bangladesh. AP/PTI

Jaydev Unadkat did get his much-awaited chance with the red ball and kept his “promise” with a spirited effort in his first Test for India after 12 years.

His love for the longer version of the game became apparent more than ever in January when he typed a tweet that went on to be widely circulated.


“Dear red ball, please give me one more chance.. I’ll make you proud, promise!” the leftarm pacer had posted.

“Everyone thought that I was referring to a national comeback. I was just missing red-ball cricket in general as Ranji Trophy was postponed for a second time (due to Covid),” Unadkat, who took 3/67 in the second Test against Bangladesh last week, told PTI after his arrival back home.

The 31-year-old had played his first Test in 2010 with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid — the current head coach — being his teammates. Having not been on selectors’ radar despite a record-breaking performance in the 2020 Ranji Trophy, a national recall came for Unadkat when he expected it the least.

Considering he was not even part of the India A side that toured Bangladesh before the Test series, one could not fault him for keeping his hopes at a minimum. But his opportunity came, albeit at the expense of spinner Kuldeep Yadav — Man of the Match in the first Test for his eight-wicket haul — triggering a selection controversy.

But it did not take long for the Porbandar-born cricketer to make his presence felt, as he removed the last game’s centurion Zakir Hasan with a ball that jumped from good length. That was his maiden Test wicket, a moment that will remain the most special of his career, he said.

“I was trying to extract bounce off length and I felt I could do that. The feeling(when it happened) will remain one of the most special memories of my cricketing career. Getting a Test wicket is something I visualised 1000 times,” said Unadkat.

Asked if he felt the pressure of replacing Kuldeep, he said: “Absolutely not. When you don’t expect things and they happen, I take it in my stride. I just wanted to contribute. If not take a wicket then create pressure from the other end. That was the thought.”

Follow us on: