Jaydev Unadkat has been in impressive form in IPL 2017    BCCI
Jaydev Unadkat has been in impressive form in IPL 2017 BCCI

Jaydev Unadkat has picked up 22 wickets in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is easily his best performance in the tournament history. He was picked by Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the IPL 2017 auction for Rs. 30 Lakhs. Unadkat had earlier played just one game each for Delhi Daredevils (DD) and then for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, his fortunes turned around when the likes of Ashok Dinda did not perform well. As a result, Unadkat got more games and is now the second highest wicket-taker, behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, Unadkat credits his success to Wasim Akram with whom he worked with during the initial stages of his stint with KKR. Full Cricket Scorecard: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2017 final at Hyderabad

“I was too star struck by Akram. But I did manage to learn the art of swing bowling from him. I also learnt different ways of gripping the ball which I was not aware of. I have come a long way but the lessons with Akram taught me the basics of bowling,” Unadkat told The Times of India. Unadkat has not just picked up wickets, but has also not conceded runs at an alarming rate. In fact he also has the best strike-rate among the RPS bowlers. However, he credits Steven Smith and MS Dhoni for the accurate field placements.

“Both Smith and (MS) Dhoni bhai know my strengths so well that they set the fields most of the time. These two guys work in tandem. If one is handling the bowlers, other instructs the fielders. In the end, I am only focused on my bowling,” said Unadkat. Unadkat suffered a stress fracture back in 2014, but returned with 40 wickets in the following year for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy 2014-15, guiding them to the final against Mumbai. But he could never convert his good show in the domestic circuit in the shorter format. READ: IPL 2017: Jaydev Unadkat feels blessed to have Steven Smith, MS Dhoni in Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS)

“The change of action was more to do with my non-bowling arm. Earlier, the momentum was going backward and I had to exert more force. But now, my body is in sync with my action at the point of delivery. With this reworked action, I am able to impart more pace,” explains Unadkat.

Despite his good show in the tournament, Unadkat does not want to look too far ahead by expecting a national call-up. “I don’t want to think about national call-ups and lose my focus. My immediate target is to develop my yorkers during the off-season after the IPL. Since I was getting success with my cutters and slower ones this season, I didn’t want to try anything new,” Unadkat said.