It’s been over 10 years since Jaydev Unadkat, then 19, made his India Test debut. He bowled 26 wicketless overs for 156 runs against South Africa, not a remarkable first appearance but surely not something that would mean it should be his only international appearance in the format so far.
Unadkat has since developed into a reliable left-arm pacer who has put in consistent performances year after year in domestic circuit. Not that he hasn’t played for India since 2010 – he has sporadic appearances in white-ball cricket (7 ODIs and 10 T20Is between 2013 and 2018).
But given the number of fast bowlers India have tried in the past six months in Test cricket alone, the 29-year-old, who finished as the leading wicket-taker of the last Ranji Trophy season, feels a little let down.
“I felt (exclusion from) Australia tour was fine because everyone was fit in the main squad. But later on, (looking at) those who got chances due to injuries, I felt I deserved one,” Unadkat told The Hindu.
He was also hopeful that for the England tour, where India are to play six Tests starting June 18’s World Test Championship final, he would be given a chance. However, he wasn’t even named among the standbys with the trio of Praisdh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla making the cut in the list instead.
“I was hoping to make it to the England tour. As simple as that. I have said in the past that the guys who are at the top are doing well, so I have to wait for my chance. This time around, I have been honestly disappointed. I’ll still take the disappointment positively to motivate myself to do better,” Unadkat said.
However, Unadkat, who has taken 327 wickets in 89 First-Class matches so far, isn’t frustrated. “I haven’t reached that level of frustration for sure. As I look at it, it’s not now or never for me. When I say I am at my peak, it’s still four or five years more to remain at my peak,” he said.
“I am 29 and because I made my debut early (in 2010), people consider me ‘old’. I was a teenager when I made my Test debut a decade ago, so I still have a lot of time. I am not that frustrated for sure,” he added.