The veteran Indian spinner, R Ashwin opines that left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat made a sensational comeback during India’s recent Test series win over Bangladesh and it’s proof that domestic performance should not be overlooked. Unadkat played a Test after a gap of more than 12 years as he fell off the radar of selectors. On his comeback to Test cricket after making his debut in 2020, Unadkat produced a fine performance in India’s three-wicket victory in Mirpur.
Talking about Unadkat in the latest video on his Youtube channel, R Ashwin said, “He posed with the trophy and I told him you could lift this trophy because of the other trophy (Ranji trophy) that you lifted. He bowled like an experienced pro and it is not easy. Everyone will have white ball memory and how well he didn’t bowl for Rajasthan and so on. But go and see his red ball numbers.”
He further added, “He has been a torchbearer of Saurashtra cricket. If Saurashtra is a powerhouse in domestic cricket, it is because of Jaydev. He was not out in the first innings and second innings I had a feeling he would be not out and hit the winning runs.”
Ever since its inauguration, IPL has been a consistent feeder for Team India, but R Ashwin believes that India’s domestic tournaments, such as the Ranji Trophy and the Duleep Trophy, have been the true platform to churn out Indian talents. Ashwin went on to cite examples of consistent domestic performers like Sarfaraz Khan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Abhimanyu Easwaran.
While explaining the same, the veteran spinner said, “I can give you many examples. Unadkat, Saurabh Kumar. He plays for UP. He has a contract with Kings XI but consistently gets wickets in first-class cricket. You know Yashasvi Jaiswal through IPL. But he has scored 1500 runs in 14 or 15 first-class games. Sarfaraz Khan of Mumbai, they will immediately say he hasn’t scored runs in India A but a first class cricketer has to perform at every level to get selected.”
R Ashwin concluded by saying, “Ranji, Duleep, Irani and India A and if you fail at one level you will be criticized. Just because in IPL they perform in front of our eyes, we recognize them but we fail to recognize the hard work of other cricketers. Abhimanyu Easwaran, he scores quality hundreds at Eden Gardens every year and it’s not easy.”