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NEW DELHI: Jaydev UnadkatIndia’s dream comeback in India’s recent Test series triumph over Bangladesh showed that performance domestically should not be overlooked, said off-spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin.
Left-arm pacer Unadkat played his first and only test as head coach Rahul Dravid became his teammate in 2010 and since then he has fallen off the selectors’ radar.
The 31-year-old, however, made a comeback after 12 when he played in the second Test against Bangladesh, putting in a fine performance in India’s three-wicket win in the Mirpur Test.
β€œHe posed with the trophy and I told him that you can lift this trophy because of the other trophy (Ranji trophy) you have lifted. You deserve everything you have done for Saurashtra cricket,” said said Ashwin on his Tamil YouTube channel in a segment called ‘Kutty Story’.
After leading them to the Ranji Trophy title in 2020 with 67 wickets, the Saurashtra skipper was once again at the forefront of their one-day Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph this season, which paved the way for a return to Test.
“He played like an experienced pro and it’s not easy. Everyone will have the memory of the white ball and how bad he didn’t play for Rajasthan etc. But check out his red ball numbers β€œ, said Ashwin.
Unadkat claimed three wickets in the Mirpur test.
“He has been a torchbearer of Saurashtra cricket. If Saurashtra is a powerhouse in domestic cricket, it is because of Jaydev. He was not absent in the first innings and in the second innings I had the feeling he wouldn’t be out and hit winning runs.”
After the success of the IPL, the T20 tournament has become a constant source of Team India but Ashwin said Indian national tournaments such as Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy have been the real platform for Indian talents.
“In India, if there is a hot selling topic, everyone will have a say in it. They forget about other people’s struggle. But how well did Unadkat perform in this test match. It’s not easy guys.
“We should take a closer look at our domestic cricket. IPL changes lives and it takes center stage because it’s bread and butter.
“They show their ability in IPL and are recognized with Test and ODI calls. But 70-80% of people playing cricket in India smash doors with performances in the Ranji Trophy.”
Ashwin then cited examples of other national stalwarts like Sarfaraz Khan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhimanyu Easwaran.
“I can give you many examples. Unadkat, Saurabh Kumar. He plays for UP. He has a contract with Kings XI but regularly gets wickets in first class cricket.
“Shahbaz Nadeem also got his opportunity. You know Yashasvi Jaiswal through IPL. But he scored 1500 points in 14 or 15 top class matches.
“Sarfaraz Khan from Mumbai, they will immediately say he didn’t score in India A but a top class cricketer has to perform at all levels to be selected.
“Ranji, Duleep, Irani and India A and if you fail a level you will be criticized. Just because in IPL they play in front of our eyes, we recognize them but we don’t recognize the hard work of other players from cricket.
“Abhimanyu Easwaran, he scores hundreds of quality points at Eden Gardens every year and it’s not easy,” Ashwin said.



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