The veteran left-arm seamer from Saurashtra, Jaydev Unadkat said he is "disappointed but not frustrated" after being ignored for the tour of England despite doing exceedingly well in the previous edition of the Ranji Trophy. The 29-year-old picked up 67 wickets — the most by a pacer in a Ranji season — at an impressive average of 13.23 and propelled Saurashtra to their maiden title.
Unadkat has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is but hasn't represented India since March 2018. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan recently played in Australia when senior bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were down with respective injuries.
India are now scheduled to play six Tests in England, including the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand. Apart from Natarajan (injured), all of the aforementioned six fast bowlers are part of the squad, with Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla and Prasidh Krishna being the standby seamers. India needed one left-arm pacer for the tour and they decided to go with Gujarat's Nagwaswalla over Unadkat.
"I felt (exclusion from) Australia tour was fine because everyone was fit in the main squad. But later on, (looking at) those who got chances due to injuries, I felt I deserved one," Unadkat told The Hindu.
"I was hoping to make it to the England tour. As simple as that. I have said in the past that the guys who are at the top are doing well, so I have to wait for my chance. This time around, I have been honestly disappointed. I’ll still take the disappointment positively to motivate myself to do better."
Unadkat has played 89 first-class encounters and picked up 327 wickets at an average of 23.21. He made his Test debut in South Africa in 2010 but hasn't played a single Test since then. However, Unadkat is still not too frustrated.
"I haven’t reached that level of frustration for sure. As I look at it, it’s not now or never for me. When I say I am at my peak, it’s still four or five years more to remain at my peak. I am 29 and because I made my debut early (in 2010), people consider me ‘old’. I was a teenager when I made my Test debut a decade ago, so I still have a lot of time. I am not that frustrated for sure."
India are likely to travel to Sri Lanka in July for some white-ball cricket and Unadkat is hopeful of making a comeback. "To be honest, I don’t know what’s next. Had the SPL (Saurashtra Premier League) gone ahead, there was some cricket to be played. Let’s see, the Sri Lanka tour is coming. If that (call-up) comes, it’ll be nice."