Jaydev Unadkat is back to square one. The Saurashtra bowler – who secured the highest price in the 2018 and 2019 auctions – has been released by Rajasthan Royals.
Unadkat does not feature in the list of retained players for IPL 2020 and will once again go back to the auction pool. It is like a déjà vu for the left-arm pacer as Royals had released him ahead of the 2019 auction even though it had spent Rs 11.5 crore for the bowler a year earlier. The Royals, however, re-secured his services for Rs 8.5 crore -- a cut of almost Rs 3 crore from his old price.
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Last year, even before the auction, the franchise officials -- in friendly conversations -- had indicated that they would go ‘all out’ for Unadkat, in a bid to strengthen the pace attack.
They kept their word. But Unadkat couldn’t do justice to his hefty price tag.
In the 11 matches last season, Unadkat bagged only 10 wickets at an economy rate of 10.66. In 2018, he had picked 11 wickets in 15 outings, with an economy rate of 9.65.
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“In a tournament like the IPL, where the focus is always on you, there have been instances of top players struggling and JD’s has been a similar case. The franchise has kept faith in him twice, but he somehow could not deliver, despite his best efforts,” one of the industry experts, who has been following the IPL teams for long, told this publication.
“It will be interesting to see what price he fetches in the IPL auction and who are the takers, in case Royals decide to look beyond him at the auctions,” the expert said.