Updated: April 5, 2018 8:32:33 pm
Making a return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) after a span of two years, Rajasthan Royals (RR) made Indian left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat their second most expensive buy at IPL auctions held earlier this year. Last season, Unadkat picked up 24 wickets at an average of 13.42 and was only behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the list of bowlers with the most number of IPL wickets. Numbers such as these coupled with eye-catching performances prompted franchises to go all guns blazing as the 27-year-old went under the hammer. With the Royals securing Unadkat’s services with a bid Rs 11.5 crore, he now forms a vital cog in the squad. Former India leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutule, who was roped in by the Jaipur franchise as the bowling coach for the team believes that Unadkat’s good run of form will be crucial for Rajasthan Royals’ journey this year. Speaking to the Indian Express, Bahutule also said that he is looking forward to working with head coach Shane Warne, who knows the pulse of this team.
“Definitely, I think his form and everybody’s form in the bowling unit will be crucial. It all depends on how everybody revolves around the key bowlers, that’s what I always feel. The pressure is not only going to be on Jaydev but also on the other fast bowlers and spinners. But he is definitely an important bowler for us, he had a good domestic season. For him to bowl well and take wickets, other guys also have to chip in and create pressure. I hope the spinners will play that part,” said Bahutule.
But will the lack of a reputed spinner among the ranks become a cause of concern as the tournament progresses, especially with the pitches getting drier? Pointing out that the franchise has always helped players grow by giving them opportunities, Bahutule said, “Yes, we have inexperienced spinners in our ranks but at the same time, they have been bowling competently and have been very successful in the domestic format.”
“Likes of K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal have done extremely well. Over the years, spinners have performed admirably for RR. For instance, when Pravin Tambe came in, nobody knew much about him but he evolved. This is the best part of being with the Royals. So I am sure this year, spinners will respond well to the situation and lift their game from here on.”
Another youngster who has impressed the former Kerala and Bengal coach is teenage Afghan spinner Zahir Khan Pakhteen.”Zahir is an exciting bowler, someone who is very keen to learn.” But how he will fit in the squad is something that the coach is not looking at now but maintained that utilization of all bowlers will be done as and when required.
In the 11th edition of the IPL, Bahutule will team up with another exponent of his craft, leg-spinner Shane Warne. Stating that it will be fantastic to have a person like him, the 45-year-old Bahutule said, “Warne will bring a lot of experience to the table and having been a part of the Royals’ outfit before, he knows the pulse of the team. He is a good motivator in his own way. I am looking forward to meeting him and can’t wait for the tournament to begin.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.