It was fast turning into another Indian Premier League (IPL) season to forget for Jaydev Unadkat but the Rajasthan Royals seamer bounced back strongly on Saturday with a man-of-the-match display against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Unadkat, who has gone at almost 11 runs an over with the ball in the 2019 campaign, picked up the crucial wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Deepak Hooda to pave the way for a seven-wicket win for Rajasthan at Jaipur. His terrific bowling in the death overs helped Rajasthan restrict Hyderabad to 160-8 after the visitors had made an excellent start with the bat.
Along with his excellent figures of 2-26 with the ball, the left-armed seamer was also excellent in the field where he held on to three difficult catches. Having been branded as an expensive flop by many for his struggles previously, Unadkat was delighted to finally find some joy.
“I can’t really express how much I needed it for my own confidence,” a relieved Unadkat stated after the game.
“Times have been tough but I have grown strong from it and become better as a player. That is how it is in T20 cricket. As a bowler, you can’t really expect to win matches for your team every single time.
“To be honest, this season I have been trying everything that I have and I am happy with the way things have gone. Yes, the figures don’t suggest that but the balls that I have been bowling in the middle, apart from the ones that I got hit, were something that I wanted to do. Really happy that the results finally came out to boost my confidence.”
The win helped Rajasthan remain in contention for the IPL 2019 play-offs with the team leapfrogging Kolkata Knight Riders to sixth spot in the table. The Royals are now tied with SRH and Kings XI Punjab at 10 points apiece.
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