Jaydev Unadkat stares at history with return to India Test squad after 12 years, replaces injured Mohammed Shami: Report

Updated on Dec 10, 2022 11:13 AM IST

Unadkat, a veteran at the domestic level, has not been a part of India's Test side since his debut in South Africa way back in 2010. But the left-arm pacer has been a tireless performer at the domestic level, leading Saurashtra to laurels. He was also the highest wicket-taker of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy with 67 scalps.

Jaydev Unadkat (in frame) has replaced Shami in India's Test squad(PTI)
Jaydev Unadkat (in frame) has replaced Shami in India's Test squad(PTI)

Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat has reportedly been drafted into the Indian Test side as a replacement for the injured Mohammed Shami for the two-match series against Bangladesh starting December 14. Unadkat, a veteran at the domestic level, has not been a part of India's Test side since his debut in South Africa way back in 2010. But the left-arm pacer has been a tireless performer at the domestic level, leading Saurashtra to laurels. He was also the highest wicket-taker of the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy with 67 scalps. He was the top wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with 19 scalps in 10 games. In all, he has picked 353 wickets in 96 first-class matches.

"Unadkat is currently in Rajkot, waiting to complete his visa formalities, and is expected to link up with the Test squad in Chattogram over the next couple of days," reported ESPNCricinfo.

Shami, who was a part of both the ODI and Test squads for the Bangladesh tour, has been ruled out with a shoulder injury suffered during the preparations in the lead-up to the series. There were reports that India A pacers Navdeep Saini and Mukesh Kumar might be called in as a cover for Shami as both have performed well in the recently-concluded two-match unofficial Test series against Bangladesh A but the team management has gone with the experience of Unadkat.

Unadkat can break the record for the longest gap between two Tests but an Indian if he is picked to play in any of the Tests in the series. The record currently stands with former India Parthiv Patel, who had to wait for eight years for a Test comeback.

India A captain Abhimanyu Easwaran and left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar have been asked to stay back in Bangladesh as backups for captain Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Both of them are unlikely to travel to Bangladesh due to injuries. Though the BCCI decided to play the waiting game with Rohit's fitness it would need a miracle for the captain, who has flown back to Mumbai to consult a specialist, to recover from a dislocated thumb. He suffered the injury while attempting to take Bangladesh opener Anamul Haque Bijoy's catch in the second ODI on December 7.

KL Rahul is set to open the batting with Shubman Gill in the first Test match at Chattogram. Rahul, the designated vice-captain of the tour, will also lead India if Rohit doesn't return. Official confirmation for that, however, is awaited.

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