Jaydev Unadkat has been exceptional in this season with 22 wickets for Rising Pune Supergiant. In 2015 he was bought for Rs 1.60 crore by Delhi Daredevils, but after playing just one match for Delhi no one would have expected a comeback with this much consistency as he has shown in this season.
Ashok Dinda failed to impress in this IPL and as a result, Pune decided to go with the 25-year-old who never disappointed his team management and came up with some match winning bowling performances. As of now he remains the second highest wicket taker in the IPL after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and can try his luck for clinching the Purple cap.
Unadkat has become Steve Smith’s first choice when it comes to bowling in a pressure situation with his ability to bowl slower deliveries and off-cutters at the death. He can also swing new ball both ways, which increases the chance to take quick wickets in powerplay overs. For his success in this season, Unadkat gives his entire credit to Pakistan bowling legend, Wasim Akram, with whom he worked two years back while playing for KKR.
“I was too star struck by Akram. But I did manage to learn the art of swing bowling from him. I also learnt different ways of gripping the ball which I was not aware of. I have come a long way but the lessons with Akram taught me the basics of bowling,” Unadkat told TOI.
Unadkat has been successful in terms of bowling economically well at 7.24 this season. But he gave a lot of credit to his captain Steve Smith and Mahendra Singh Dhoni for setting up accurate field placements which have helped him a lot.
“Both Smith and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni bhai know my strengths so well that they set the fields most of the time. These two guys work in tandem. If one is handling the bowlers, other instructs the fielders. In the end, I am only focused on my bowling,” said Unadkat.
Unadkat had to work really hard on his bowling and action as well when he was making a comeback in 2014. He took 40 wickets in his comeback to Ranji Trophy but in other shorter format, he was still struggling to make a mark.
“The change of action was more to do with my non-bowling arm. Earlier, the momentum was going backwards and I had to exert more force. But now, my body is in sync with my action at the point of delivery. With this reworked action, I am able to impart more pace,” said Unadkat.
In this IPL season, Unadkat has made a massive comeback and one of the reason has been his controlled aggression and change of attitude. He expressed his thoughts on playing for the Indian team.
“I don’t want to think about national call-ups and lose my focus. My immediate target is to develop my yorkers during the off-season after the IPL. Since I was getting success with my cutters and slower ones this season, I didn’t want to try anything new,” Unadkat said.
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