Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat surprised everyone at the auction after he was sold at higher price than Australian pacer Mitchell Starc. He is overwhelmed by "surreal" bidding for him during the auction.
Unadkat has been a completely changed bowler in last few years. His improvement has got him a place in the Indian T20I side too. During the auction, Unadkat was training with his Saurashtra teammates in Rajkot for the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy and asked team physio to inform him when his name came up for bidding during the IPL auctions.
During an exclusive interview with PTI; after he became the costliest Indian player at the auction with a Rs 11.5 crore-deal from Rajasthan Royals, he said, "After the physio told me that my bidding is on, I was hooked onto the live streaming for the next 15 minutes and found it surreal. The entire team stopped it's training to watch my bidding."
He was surprised to see Indian franchises going over 10 crores for a bowler. "Honestly, I did not have any amount in mind. The past two years have been pretty good for me and after last year's IPL (24 wickets), I expected a good bid. But yes, I was really amazed at the kind of bidding that happened. It is indeed surprising for me that franchises were ready to pay so much for a fast bowler," said Unadkat.
He now wants to make his franchise's decision right by performing for them. "I am overwhelmed but taking it in a happy way. I am expected to give him best for my franchise and will strive to do that," Unadkat said.
The pacer has played all three formats for India. His only Test match came in Centurion way back in 2010.
"During the first time that I played for India till now, I have worked a lot on my game. One of the main architects of this change has been our India bowling coach Bharat Arun. Bharat sir has been my coach since I was an U-19 India player. I have had numerous sessions with him at the NCA, which has proved to be immensely helpful," Unadkat said.
"Now that I am back in the T20 squad, I have been regularly in touch with Bharat sir and trying to execute his tips. I believe the biggest change has been my mindset about using the variation. Earlier, there wasn't that self-confidence which I have now when I want to try something new," he said.
Unadkat was more than good in studies too. He scored 91% in 10th board and 86% in 12th. However, he believes being good in studies doesn't ensure a good sportsman.
"I would never say that being a good student ensures that you will be a good sportsman. There are a lot who are not academically inclined. But yes, I wouldn't say it doesn't help when it comes to taking spot decisions — a necessity in T20 cricket.
"May be at one level, if you have been good in studies, it can help you in becoming a good student of the game," Unadkat concluded.