Rajasthan Royals experienced medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat didn’t get a place in the playing XI in the team’s first match of the season against Punjab Kings.
When the left-arm bowler from Saurashtra got his opportunity to play against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Thursday, he knew he had to grab it with both hands.
And boy, he did that in style. Unadkat wreaked havoc in the powerplay overs as he scalped three wickets. The experienced pacer bowled in the good areas and reaped fruits for his accurate line and length. Unadkat, who is always under scrutiny for his performances, answered the critics in style,
DC openers – Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan – had added a fine alliance of 138 runs against Chennai Super Kings but both of them were dismissed cheaply by Unadkat. Shaw was bamboozled by a slower delivery whereas Unadkat followed Dhawan, who was looking sweep the pacer over fine-leg.
Unadkat then flummoxed Ajinkya Rahane with another slower delivery as the Indian Test vice-captain got himself into a knot after prancing down the wicket. Unadkat returned with impressive figures of 4-0-15-3 in his quota of four overs and played a key role in restricting Delhi at a below-par score of 147 runs. Thus, Unadkat was awarded the Player of the Match award.
Unadkat said in the post-match presentation, “Have a lot of experience now I can say of handling tough situations. Was kind of a homecoming for me. Was bowling with the kind of freedom I wanted with the new ball. Couldn’t do that last season. Had to step up this time. Didn’t get the first game so I knew the chances when they come, I have to take them. If you see the stats I think I only bowled about a four-five balls change of pace. It was about hitting the hard lengths, hitting good lengths because it was doing a bit. Feel there was a bit of moisture. Made good use of it”.
Rajasthan Royals will be delighted with their performance and it’s a big positive for them as Unadkat delivered the goods in the absence of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes. RR will play their next match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 19th April.