Not picked for the first match, Rajasthan Royals (RR) pacer Jaydev Unadkat knew that he had to grab his opportunity when it came. In the seventh match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, the left-arm pacer did just that for RR against Delhi Capitals (DC) at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Opening the bowling for RR, Jaydev Unadkat dismissed the in-form Delhi openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. He also dismissed Ajinkya Rahane towards the end of the powerplay to bag the Player-of-the-Match award with figures of 4-0-15-3.
Jaydev Unadkat also shared an unbeaten partnership of 46 runs off 23 balls with Chris Morris to seal the match for RR. He remained unbeaten on 11 off just seven balls.
In the post-match presentation ceremony, Jaydev Unadkat spoke about his comfort in opening the bowling and credited his experience for making the difference. He said:
“I think I have a lot of experience now. This was kind of a homecoming for me, I would like to bowl with the freedom I got with the new ball, something I couldn’t do last season. This time I didn’t get the first game so I knew when the chances came, I’d have to take them. Worked out really well today.
“If you see the stats, I think I only bowled about 4 or 5 change of pace. It was the wickets I got. That’s why it seemed like I bowled more, but it was about hitting the hard lengths today. There was moisture, and I made use of it today.”
Marriage changes you as a person: Jaydev Unadkat
In February 2021, Jaydev Unadkat got married. The 29-year-old claims that marriage has made him more settled and calmer.
“[Marriage] changes you as a person as a whole. I won the Ranji Trophy (2019-20) after I was engaged. I feel calmer, more settled. I think it’s working. Nothing like coming to the ground, hugging your wife and then sitting beside guys believing in you,” said Jaydev Unadkat, who was picked for a record INR 11.5 crore by RR in IPL 2018.
In the absence of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, RR’s fortunes in IPL 2021 will depend a lot on Jaydev Unadkat’s experience and expertise.