On January 22 this year, the left arm stimulator, in an emotional post on Twitter, said, “Dear red ball, please give me one more chance. I’ll make you proud, I promise.”
Dear red ball, please give me one more chance. I’ll make you proud, I promise! https://t.co/ThPUOpRlyR
— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) 1641314519000
The 31-year-old finally got his chance in Dhaka in the second test on Thursday.
Unadkat first got his test cap when he was barely out of his teens, against South Africa at Centurion in December 2010. It took him 12 years and 118 games to return to Indian flannels. All the while, he harbored the dream of a Test comeback.
In the process, Undakat became the second cricketer to miss more than a century of games between matches. The record of 142 matches is in the name of Englishman Gareth Batty. The spinner returned to Test cricket in 2016 against Bangladesh, aged 39, after being out of action since June 2005. As a one-change bowler, Unadkat struck in his fourth when a delivery of short duration was lobbed. by Zakir Hassan to skipper KL Rahul on the fourth slip.
The bowler’s ecstatic celebration was understandable, considering he waited over a decade for his first Test wicket. He finished the day with numbers of 2/50 from 16 overs.
Unadkat, who entered the squad as a replacement for an injured mohamed chami, is a classic example of a player who spends tireless hours on the national circuit to impress the coaches. After debuting without a wicket, the now seasoned warhorse worked tirelessly to not only become a better bowler, but also a capable leader who led Saurashtra forward.
Over the past six seasons, he has collected 224 wickets at an impressive average of 19.5. In the 2019-20 season Ranji Trophy season, he finished as the highest wicket-taker with 67 in 10 matches to lead Saurashtra to the title before the pandemic hit.
In West Zone’s Duleep Trophy triumph recently, Unadkat took 13 wickets in three matches and were hoping for an opportunity to come back soon.
“The season is going to be long and a lot of players are getting injured. So the break could come,” he said.