In 15 games for Royals In IPL 2018, Jaydev Unadkat claimed 11 wickets an 44.18 apiece and with an economy rate of 9.65. @ AFP

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) newly-appointed coach Paddy Upton believes that left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat will add great value to the side for Season 12 which begins on March 23. The Royals forked out Rs. 8.40 crore for Unadkat’s services at the 2019 IPL Auction in December last year at Jaipur. (ALSO READ: IPL Auction 2019: Varun Chakravarthy and Jaydev Unadkat biggest earners as franchises splurge)

Zubin Bharucha (Royals’ head of cricket operations) & Co. have done a good job in building the squad. We have picked some expensive players, like Jaydev Unadkat, that add great value to the side,” Upton, who was the head coach of RR for four years, wherein they made it to the semi-finals in the 2013 edition, told CricketNext on Sunday.

“We have never been necessarily conventional in the players that we back and this year is going to be the same. We’ll be backing the players that we believe have the right potential.”

Setting the debate right, the BCCI’s CoA announced early this month that the IPL will remain in India. However, detailed schedule will be finalised in consultation with the appropriate authorities. (ALSO READ: IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals full squad)

“It is not the first time that we are facing this situation in the IPL. We have accepted that we are faced with this and we’ll be preparing for things that are under our control. We aren’t too bothered about the different venues and dates of the matches,” the 50-year-old South Africa said.

Upton’s biggest achievement came as a mental conditioning coach with the Indian team, when he combined with head coach and compatriot Gary Kirsten to guide India to the 2011 ODI World Cup title and the World No.1 rank in ICC Test rankings.

Quizzed on the importance of a mental conditioning coach specially for young players, he said: “I think this is a very pertinent question. For years, people have been talking about the mental side of the game. With the busy schedules and non-stop calendar that the cricketers have to deal with, there is hardly any time left for mental conditioning.”

“This is where the role of captain, coach and senior leadership of the team comes in. The culture has to be built by the head coach and senior leadership. (ALSO READ: In critical condition, Baroda cricketer Jacob Martin’s wife seeks financial help from BCCI)

“However, traditionally the head coach isn’t trained that way. In the Royals team this year, with the additional coaches that we have, it frees me to help out the players in our squad with the mental side of the game.”

One who has seen India captain Virat Kohli from his early days, Upton feels Kohli’s development has been perfect.

“As a cricketer, Virat has perfected the art of batting. He has perfected the ability to chase down a target and pace his innings depending on the circumstances in all three formats of the game,” he said.

“As a leader, his task is a complex one. The more experience that he gets, the more he’ll learn. I believe captaincy is a continuous learning process and one of evolution. Virat is doing that perfectly.”