Ray Jennings expects Jaidev Unadkat to get back into Team India

RCB’s Jaidev Unadkat has played only one Test without taking a wicket at Centurion in South Africa three years ago © IANS

Mumbai: Apr 25, 2013

Young left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat has impressed Ray Jennings with his performance in the IPL and the chief coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore is confident that the Saurashtra bowler would stage a comeback into the Indian team.

“I think he is going to make a big comeback into Indian cricket in the next 18 months. [He has] a very professional workside. He puts his body on the line when he fields. [He is] a lovely person to work with,” said Jennings ahead of RCB’s next IPL match against Mumbai Indians here on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Porbander-born Unadkat has played only one Test without taking a wicket at Centurion in South Africa three years ago.

Jennings said injured batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, out of cricket action with a broken index finger sustained in the fourth and last Test against Australia last month, was still in the rehab mode and is expected to join RCB in the first week of May.

“Anywhere between first and sixth of May. He is staying in Bangalore and is going to obviously start hitting balls. Once he feels he wants to join the side, we will put him in and he will join us in net practice,” said Jennings.

The RCB chief coach credited his bowlers also, apart from Chris Gayle, skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, for the good position his team finds itself in (12 points from eight matches) mid-way through the league phase of the T20 tournament.

“The media has been speaking about our batting. The media has taken the focus off our bowling. The focus has been about Gayle and Kohli and de Villiers. But look at Vinay Kumar. He had got the purple cap (13 wickets in 8 games) and RP Singh has been up in the top there.”

“If you look at our bowling, it is very difficult to take a bowler out of our combination because every bowler has actually performed. We have got guys like [Abhimanyu] Mithun and Harshal Patel sitting on the side,” the RCB coach said.

“So our bowling unit is really strong backed up by good fielding. The fielding has been good; we haven’t done too much wrong on the fielding side. I think as a unit, the side is in a good space,” Jennings added.

But he was also of the opinion that the real test is to start for the team now as it will be playing six away games after playing as many home games out of eight.

“Look it’s more about how you finish than how you start.

I think the important thing is that the games that are coming up now are away from home — six out of eight games. Its important how we actually end up on the finishing line.

“Actually I would like to ignore what has happened in the first six [home games]. Lot of people say momentum is pretty important, yes it is, but it is how we finish that is going to determine where we are in the competition,” he added.

Jennings said fear of failure has kept the batsmen in all the teams in check leading to low scores in the first few games, but now that the combinations have settled a bit, more runs are seen on the board.

“I think the batsmen always start off slow in IPL because the nerves play a big role. They always try to find their position in the team.

“As a bowler you have more than one chance but as a batsman if you don’t score well in your first game, you get a little nervous. You have the fear factor to play your shots. I think once the permutation starts settling down and player starts scoring runs then they have the freedom to actually play,” said Jennings.