Things will get better this season, hopes Unadkat

After scalping four wickets for India Red in the Duleep Trophy final, Jaydev Unadkat speaks about his form, his preparations for the season and his aspirations. 

Jaydev Unadkat at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Playing for India Red, Jaydev Unadkat troubled the India Green batsmen with swing and length in helpful conditions on Day 1 of the Duleep Trophy final at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. 

The positive start to the season was much needed for his confidence after being at the receiving end of social media trolls after yet another ordinary season of Indian Premier League despite the high expectation. But he is full of optimism about the season ahead.  “I think it’s going to get better this season. I am right up there in terms of mental levels. I want to do it, I want to prove that I have the abilities which can get me to the highest level and be successful. It’s bound to happen for sure,” he said.

He spoke about his form, his preparations for the season and his aspirations in a chat with mediapersons on Wednesday. 

Excerpts…

What do you look for in Duleep Trophy final? It’s the start of the domestic season..

One thing that I’ve always wanted myself to believe is that every single game I’m going to play – be it a Duleep Trophy or Ranji Trophy – one good spell or one fiery spell can change your career. That’s what I've believed since the start of my first-class career. I made my debut in England and got 13 wickets and got into the Test team, so it’s all about one good spell. Obviously it’s the Duleep Trophy final, but it could have been a Ranji Trophy game, or even if I’m playing a club game, I can still work on things I want to work on, push my standards higher and higher. If you want to play at a higher level, you have to push your goals higher and higher. That’s what I think should be the goal for everyone.

READ: India Red pacers make merry amid multiple rain interruptions

Do you have playing for India in mind in the overall picture when playing domestic cricket?

Not really, to be honest. But having said that, obviously playing for the nation – or one level higher than what you’re playing – is going to be a goal every time you go out there on the field. If I’m playing a Ranji game, I’ll be aiming to be selected for Duleep Trophy or India A or whatever. That happens naturally. But after having played eight or nine seasons now, those are the things I don’t get worried about. It’s all about setting standards for myself, and that’s what I did last season. Last season was a season that went according to how I wanted. Yes I got the wickets, but I was able to execute the plans I was setting before every single game for different kinds of batsmen.

That is one season I want to keep as a benchmark and keep pushing from there. Apart from that, I would say that it’s not because I want to get selected somewhere that I’m doing what I’m doing. Things like that don’t really come up now that I’ve played some cricket at this level.

India Red's Jaydev Unadkat during the Duleep Trophy final in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

 

Key to success in helpful conditions…

I think it’s to keep bowling in the right areas. Obviously that’s easier said than done. But when it’s moving both ways, and moving in the air, it’s important to pitch it up, and to keep bowling in the same areas for longer spells. It happens that you don’t get a wicket for four-five overs in one spell, but then you’re bound to get those wickets in the next spell. You’re bound to get rewards in the next spell. So it’s to keep patience, like it is for a batsman when they are surviving a good spell, it’s the same for bowlers. To keep bowling in the same areas and keep testing the batsmen. Because one ball here and there is bound to be swinging or cutting in or out from the pitch itself, if the conditions are such.

It’s obviously advantage bowlers when the weather is such, and when it’s raining a bit. But you have to bowl in the right areas for sure.

Goals you have set for this season in terms of bowling... 

When you are playing four-day cricket, you don’t think about new deliveries, you just think about being as accurate and as fit as possible  without any injury scare, which obviously comes with a good fitness regime. I am training specifically to my bowling style. Now that I have talked and learnt a lot about how training works in terms of fast bowling, I have been working on those aspects on how I can actually transpire my training into bowling. Those things are shaping up nicely, that’s what I can feel of myself and that’s what I want to work on in terms of four-day bowling with the red ball. 

For white ball cricket, I would obviously try to add some kind of variety in my armoury this season. That’s what I have been looking to do after the last IPL. I think it is something that you keep learning throughout your career. Bowling knuckle balls, then finger balls and those balls. It’s up to an individual what he is comfortable at. That’s what I would be looking forward to do as well. Add a new delivery to my armour with the white ball. 

You haven’t been able to transition to IPL despite a good Ranji Trophy season.... What do you tell yourself and how do you judge yourself? 

I have been asked this a lot in the last couple of seasons because I haven’t had a season as good as I would have wanted it to be. But you know the roles have been different, the roles that I have been playing in my team in the IPL has been different. I have been trying to adapt to it, I would say I wasn’t able to 100 per cent fulfill that role. It’s nothing about shifting the format. I think I have been doing that comfortably in the past. I believe it has been about execution.   

If I could have executed my plans better in the last couple of seasons, I could have been successful. There is nothing in terms of which format I would prefer or about changing formats. It’s only about execution from hereon. I think it’s going to get better this season. I am right up there in terms of mental levels. I want to do it, I want to prove that I have the abilities which can get me to the highest level and be successful. It’s bound to happen for sure.