Ranji Trophy live coverage a ‘great advantage’ for cricketers, says Jaydev Unadkat

Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat feels the live streaming of the Ranji Trophy has generated a parallel platform to study opponents better.

Stalwarts: Jaydev Unadkat (left) with Cheteshwar Pujara at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat has a new idea for tutorial. Ahead of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Karnataka, the left-arm pacer pointed to how live streaming of domestic games has provided an opportunity for cricketers to study opponents better.

Back in the day, very few Ranji Trophy games made it to television. Internet came later. “Now that [a] lot of games are live, people can watch and study them. It is a great advantage. Rather than me telling my team how they can [improve and judge bowlers] it is their own thing and what they can make out from [those videos]. The batsmen can notice the way bowlers bowl. Cheteshwar Pujara is also there [to help],” he said.

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Referring to the hype over opener Mayank Agarwal — who returned from a successful tour of Australia — and his team’s need to determine how to bowl to him if Karnataka includes him in the XI, Unadkat stressed that his team should first read the opponent’s game. “Having played with him [Mayank] a lot of times in the last couple of years gives us that benefit. We will try to analyse what kind of game their batsmen are playing. It will give us a good idea how to go about things,” Unadkat said.

The two-time crore-club member of Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is on a roll with 28 wickets in the Ranji Trophy season. Having an upper hand over Karnataka from the group stage win, Unadkat is certain that the momentum is on Saurashtra’s side.

‘One of the best games’

They also made history by setting a new record in the tournament. The 372-run chase is the highest in Ranji Trophy history.

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“That was one of the best games for Saurashtra. When a team chases and gets to a total in the fourth innings, it cannot do more to your confidence. In those times, most teams would feel it is over, but credit goes to our guys and the way we fought. It proved that we are a team that can beat any other team In India. The chase will take us a long way, not only now, but in the coming seasons also.

“All of us kept believing in our game. It was now or never for us. We were all playing good cricket in the past. We are a bit more eager to show that we can win this championship. We have a setup where players have established themselves,” said Unadkat.