IPL auction 2018 - Never expected such amount: Jaydev Unadkat after Rajasthan Royals deal
Jaydev Unadkat stole the show in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction when he went to Rajasthan Royals for a record Rs 11.5 crore bid, making him the highest bid Indian bowler in history.Updated: Jan 31, 2018 10:37 IST
“If I told you I expected such a bid, I would be dumb.”
Those were the first words, added with some nervous laughter, from Jaydev Unadkat when asked about the record bid during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction which concluded on Sunday.
Unadkat became the highest bid Indian bowler in the history of the league when he was bought for ~11.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals.
Unadkat described the plethora of emotions in his home towns of Porbandar and Rajkot, where he is practising for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“When people saw the news at home, everyone froze for a moment. In my sister’s house in Rajkot, they were jumping and dancing with joy,” said Unadkat
“I had done well in the previous IPL and in the series against Sri Lanka so I was hoping I would get a good deal.”
In the 2017 IPL , Unadkat took 24 wickets at an average of 13 for Rising Pune Supergiant. The left-armer had several memorable moments, including a hat-trick in a final over which was also a maiden against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In the game against Mumbai Indians, he defended 17 runs against the likes of Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma. His death bowling and variations stood out.
The 26-year-old continued his great run in the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka in December 2017 where he grabbed four wickets at an economy rate of 4.88.
“I was going through the grind in domestic cricket. As I was doing that, I started to gain confidence. When I did well in the IPL last year, it was the turning point. The confidence increased as well,” said Unadkat .
Unadkat will play under Steve Smith, who was also his captain at Rising Pune Supergiant. Along with Smith, Rajasthan Royals also acquired England all-rounder Ben Stokes for ~12.5 crore, the most expensive player in the auction and Ajinkya Rahane.
Unadkat said it was great to play under Smith.
“Smith is equally good like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni when it comes to captaincy strategy. Whatever resources he had last year, he utilised them very well,: he said.”
In 2015 and 2016, Unadkat had played only two games in two IPL seasons and was struggling with injuries. He was also not part of the India team, his last match being against Zimbabwe in 2016.
Unadkat credits his revival not just to family support and improved fitness, but also sound advice from Bharat Arun, India bowling coach, and Cheteshwar Pujara.
“I spoke to Bharat Arun sir a year-and-half ago when I was going through a rough patch. I know him since my U-19 days at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) and he knew what I could do.
“Cheteshwar Pujara and I have been friends for a long time and he gives me confidence when I need it,” said Unadkat.
Momentum with India
With India winning the Johannesburg Test against South Africa and salvaging some pride, the focus shifts to the six-match ODI series and three T20Is.
Unadkat believes India have a chance. “The way India bowled in the Tests, the way they won the small battles, there are plenty of positives,” he said.