Despite taking as many as 67 wickets in the previous Ranji Trophy season, Jaydev Unadkat was not selected either for the Australia tour last year or the upcoming England tour this year.
And according to Karsan Ghavri, a former India fast bowler, that is because the national selectors already consider the Saurashtra pacer to be too old. Unadkat, 29, had recently said that he was disappointed at being ignored for an India berth after doing so well in domestic cricket.
Ghavri was Saurashtra coach when Unadkat led them to the title with an outstanding display throughout the 2019-20 Ranji season and he has now revealed a conversation with a selector during the Ranji final against Bengal in Rajkot.
“I asked a selector during the Ranji Trophy final that if a bowler takes more than 60 wickets and has taken his team into the final of the Ranji Trophy single-handedly, shouldn’t he be at least picked for India A?” Ghavri told The Times of India.
“That selector told me, ‘Kadu bhai, he won’t be picked for India anymore. His name is not even considered by us when we think of 30-odd players.’ ‘Why not, I asked him. Then what’s the point of him picking (up) so many wickets?’ I was told that he’s already 32-33. Age is spoiling his case. It has put a full stop to his India career.”
Ghavri further claimed that the selector told him India would rather invest in a younger player than go back to Unadkat. “’Why should we invest in an older player? We would rather pick a 21, 22 or a 23-year-old player if he’s good, he can serve India for 8-10-12 years. If we pick Unadkat today, how many years will he serve India for?’ This is what that selector told me,” Ghavri said.
Unadkat has not played for India since March 2018, but with a second-string national squad set to travel to Sri Lanka for a white-ball series in July, Ghavri hoped the Saurashtra pacer would go on that tour. “I wish he gets picked for the Sri Lanka tour at least, but it is very difficult for him to break the ice and get into the Indian team because the selectorial policy is something else,” he said.
Unadkat made his debut for India as a teenager in 2010 and has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is.
Featured image : AFP / Indranil Mukherjee