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‘Will take disappointment positively to motivate myself’

Jaydev Unadkat, who had a record haul in the last Ranji season, hopes to make the Sri Lanka tour

Seldom would a sportsperson have had a contrasting a year as Jaydev Unadkat.

On the personal front, the left-arm pacer married Rinny in February, getting engaged an hour after leading Saurashtra to its maiden Ranji Trophy title last March, but on the professional front, he has had to face disappointment.

The disappointment hasn’t had much to do with his performance. Despite picking 67 wickets — the most by a pacer in a Ranji season — during Saurashtra’s triumphant campaign, Unadkat has been ignored by the national selectors.

“I felt (exclusion from) Australia tour was fine because everyone was fit in the main squad. But later on, (looking at) those who got chances due to injuries, I felt I deserved one,” Unadkat, 29, told The Hindu from Rajkot.

Feeling left out

“I was hoping to make it to the England tour. As simple as that. I have said in the past that the guys who are at the top are doing well, so I have to wait for my chance. This time around, I have been honestly disappointed. I’ll still take the disappointment positively to motivate myself to do better.”

With the domestic First Class season having come to a standstill due to the pandemic, Unadkat hasn’t had a chance to impress with the red cherry since March 2020.

The lanky bowler admits he hasn’t been too frustrated and the thought of calling up a selector and asking what more should he do to earn a Test call-up hasn’t yet crossed his mind.

“I haven’t reached that level of frustration for sure. As I look at it, it’s not now or never for me. When I say I am at my peak, it’s still four or five years more to remain at my peak,” he says.

Not frustrated

“I am 29 and because I made my debut early (in 2010), people consider me ‘old’. I was a teenager when I made my Test debut a decade ago, so I still have a lot of time. I am not that frustrated for sure.”

Unadkat hopes that India’s limited-overs series in Sri Lanka would offer him a chance to get back on the field in July.

“To be honest, I don’t know what’s next. Had the SPL (Saurashtra Premier League) gone ahead, there was some cricket to be played. Let’s see, the Sri Lanka tour is coming. If that (call-up) comes, it’ll be nice.”

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