Indian cricketer in focus: Jaydev Unadkat - In the image of Zaheer Khan
To play for your country, to represent your nation in a sport of national importance is by far the most rewarding thing that can happen to a young cricket aspirant. To be able to don the national colours and sing the national anthem along with accomplished senior players is something every child dreams of.
Indian cricketers often have it harder than most to make a mark on the game. The presence of world class talent in the team at all times makes it extremely tough to cement a place in the side; ask Murali Vijay, he’ll tell you, along with countless others ‘talented’ youngsters who never get that chance.
Despite possessing talent, there must be something unique to your game that makes the selectors pick you for the team, and then later make the captain want to include you in the squad.
It is an understood fact that you simply cannot make an appearance for your country without having talent. Sometimes talent alone can’t get you to the higher echelons of the game. Yes, this time you can ask Rohit Sharma.
The drive to perform along with an unwavering lust for improvement can get you to the farthest reaches of the sport. Rahul Dravid was one such man; his skill was never in doubt, but his unrelenting need for perfection got him to where he is now.
A good work ethic will help you instill discipline in your life, and discipline will help you achieve success. Such is the story of our young Indian cricketer, the focal point of this piece – the talented left-arm seamer, Jaydev Dipakbhai Unadkat.
Born in Porbandar, Gujarat, young Unadkat grew up idolizing Mahatma Gandhi’s way of life and Wasim Akram’s bowling exploits. That should explain his modest demeanour and his fiery left-arm bowling.
Unadkat was a day scholar at Duleep Singh School of Cricket in Porbandar. During his time there, he was spotted by coach Ram Odedra. He impressed everyone at school with his bowling action and his ability to land the ball on the seam, which got the ball swinging both ways.
He started his journey to the national team when he was selected for the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2010 as India’s pace spearhead. His performances caught the eyes of selectors as he put in some terrific spells. His bowling also caught the eye of Shah Rukh Khan’s IPL franchise KKR, as they were the first to offer him an IPL contract in 2010.
His time in IPL was most beneficial as he got to learn from his idol – Wasim Akram himself. Akram identified him as a star for the future and helped him harness and control his out-swinger.