The first thing that Jaydev Unadkat said after the IPL 2018 auction was “If I told you I expected such a bid, I would be dumb.”
Jaydev Unadkat was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a sum of Rs 11.50 crores and with that he became the most expensive Indian player sold in the auction. Currently he is preparing himself for the Saurashtra’s Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign.
“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. 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,” said Unadkat.
Unadkat had made his India debut way back in 2010 in South Africa and has come a long way since then.
In the 2017 IPL, Unadkat took 24 wickets at an average of 13 for Rising Pune Supergiant. His best moment was the hat-trick including 5 wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He also defended 17 runs against Pollard and Rohit Sharma in the last over against MI.
“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 alongside the likes of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson in the Rajasthan set up. “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.
“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.
“The way India bowled in the Tests, the way they won the small battles, there are plenty of positives,” he said when asked about India’s chances in ODI series in South Africa.