Fitter Unadkat is in a happy space

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat has worked on his strength and fitness to be able to bowl better.

Jaydev Unadkat enjoyed a fine 2018-19 domestic season which saw him pick up 39 wickets.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Team India has a soft corner for left-arm pacers. Every now and then, there is a need for a specialist one as bowlers have come and gone in the recent past. At present, Rajasthan pacer Khaleel Ahmed is under trial.

Looking at Jaydev Unadkat’s 2018-19 domestic season, one can’t entirely rule out a second coming for the seasoned speedster. The 27-year-old has claimed 39 wickets and he looks stronger.

Though Saurashtra lost the Ranji Trophy final to Vidarbha by 78 runs, the skipper has emerged fitter and a clever bowler.

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“At the moment, I am loving my game. This has not happened throughout my career. I have been trying to work hard on some things and when those things don’t work out, you tend to get disappointed and get harsh on yourself.

“It is happening because of the work I have been putting in. I have worked on my fitness. I have put on more strength which is helping me bowl longer spells and maintain the intensity in the second innings. That is one thing I am really happy about,” he said.

Knocking on the national team's door: Jaydev Unadkat's exploits in the domestic season could see him earn a spot in the national team soon.   -  Sudhakara Jain

 

The seasoned campaigner, who has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is for India, is trying to understand the requirements of his body. “I have become more educated on what things I need to work on. I have been working hard with my trainer Nishant [Bordoloi] who also works with the Delhi team. I am trying to study my own body and which part I need to work on. The functional training has helped me.”

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“It has shown me the areas I need to improve on. The more I get educated, I can build a schedule and revolve around it during seasons and not get fatigued. Maintaining fitness throughout the season is a challenge. I wasn’t this fit ever before to be bowling those crucial spells in the second innings,” said Unadkat, who is not lingering much on a comeback.

“I don’t want to worry about getting selected again and making comebacks. I have been able to think above all that and just enjoy and live the moment. This season, there was nothing else in my mind except winning the Ranji Trophy and win every game we played. I think that’s the right attitude to have.

“Whatever game I will play from now on, I will take one game at a time. Every time I take the field, I am going to give my 100 per cent,” he added.