Saurashtra’s left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat said he "will keep fighting till the very end" after being ignored for the tour of Sri Lanka. The 29-year-old put out a statement on Twitter after the BCCI announced a 25-man squad (including five net bowlers) for three ODIs and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka.
"At this point in my career, with all the useful experience that I’ve fortunately gathered, I’m only going to appreciate what comes my way and keep fighting till the very end. (and that’s not gonna be soon, sure!). Maybe that could be taken as being soft, but then, I’ll keep the ruthlessness and aggression for when I’m out there on the field," wrote Unadkat.
Unadkat has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is but hasn't represented India since March 2018. Unadkat recently said that he was "disappointed but not frustrated" after being ignored for the tour of England despite doing exceedingly well in the previous edition of Ranji Trophy. He picked up 67 wickets — the most by a pacer in a Ranji season — at an impressive average of 13.23 and a strike rate of 28.2. In IPL 2021, Unadkat picked up four wickets in as many games at an impressive economy rate of 7.06 before the tournament was suspended.
"I found my passion when I was a kid, inspired by watching all the greats of the game play with all their heart on the field. all these years later, I got to experience it myself. And above everything else, that never say die attitude that I saw in them and nurtured inside myself, stayed with me! when I was young, some labelled me as a raw, erratic bowler, an over-dreaming bloke coming from a small town," said the Rajasthan Royals bowler.
"Slowly, their perception changed. and that’s cos I changed. I matured. the highs, the lows, the enormous joy, the extreme disappointment! Oh, what would I have been without sport. this game has given me so much, and not for one moment, am I gonna repent on why not me, or when will my time come and what have I done wrong. I have got my chances in the past & I will still get them. It will be when it will be!"
India went with another left-arm seamer Arzan Nagwaswalla for the tour of England, while his Rajasthan teammate Chetan Sakariya was preferred over him for the tour of Sri Lanka, starting July 13. Unadkat revealed that he’s taking a break from social media. "I am super grateful for your good wishes & support. Time to focus on my next game. and work even harder. Until then, social media detox mode on."
Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar too said Unadkat was unlucky to have missed out on a spot in the Indian team. "I wonder whether they would have included Unadkat as a net bowler considering his experience and he’s an India player, a seasoned first-class bowler. He’s unlucky to miss out. When you look at the seam department, it’s not the strongest because the quality bowlers are playing Test cricket for India," Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.