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Ban vs Ind Test series

Jaydev Unadkat has been called up to India’s test team in Bangladesh as a replacement for the injured Mohammed Shami. Unadkat is currently in Rajkot, waiting to complete his visa formalities, and is expected to contact the testing team in Chattogram in the coming days.

Shami is currently undergoing rehabilitation for a shoulder injury at BCCI’s National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He developed a right shoulder problem during a training session prior to the Bangladesh tour. Having missed the ODI leg of the tour, there was a slim chance that Shami would be fit for the Tests, but that has now been ruled out.

For 31-year-old Unadkat, this is only the second call-up to the Test squad. His only appearance to date in the format came almost exactly 12 years ago, as a teenager straight out of the India Under-19s, in the first Test of the 2010-11 tour of South Africa. In that test, in Centurion, he finished with numbers of none for 101 as India lost by an innings and 25 runs.
Unadkat is the second player to join India’s test team in Bangladesh as a substitute from injury. On Friday night, Abhimanyu Easwaran, the Bangladeshi player who led India A to a 1-0 victory in the four-day series against Bangladesh A on a shadow tour, was called up as cover for Rohit Sharma, who has flown home to Mumbai. to tend to a finger injury he suffered during the ODI series. Left arm spinner Saurabh Kumar is also lined up to replace Ravindra Jadeja. Saurabh ended the ‘A’ tour with a run of 15 wickets over two red ball matches.

Over the past five years, Unadkat has built an impressive body of work with Saurashtra, the team he has led to a wave of success in the Indian domestic circuit. He was front and center in their maiden Ranji Trophy title win in 2019-20, taking a record 67 wickets, the most by a bowler in a season. Over the past three Ranji seasons, Unadkat has taken 115 wickets in 21 matches.

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In an interview with ESPNcricinfo last week, after Saurashtra’s maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy victory, Unadkat reiterated that “the hunger and the fire to play and perform for the country is still strong”. He had just finished as the top wicket taker in the tournament, taking 19 wickets in ten matches.

“I do look at my individual performance but in a way that the team comes through, not in a way that I think will help me get selected for India or India A,” he had said. “Ultimately that’s the space you want to be in and I’m happy to try and help the team win as many games as possible. If you like the way you play the game then everything else falls into place.” I love this space and the mindset I’m currently in and I wouldn’t change that for anything. But the hunger and fire to play and perform for the country still burns bright.”

Over the years, Unadkat has built its USP around bowling on the famous lifeless decks in Rajkot. His ability to swing the new ball and turn the old ball has won him many wickets, and his improved fitness has contributed to longer spells, something he did tirelessly during that 2019–20 campaign which he later described as ” career-defining”.

Apart from one Test, Unadkat has also featured in seven ODIs and ten T20Is. He was last part of the India team during their Nidahas Trophy campaign in Sri Lanka in March 2019.

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