Jaydev Unadkat available to lead Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy final
It is understood that the fast bowler initiated the request for release with the Indian team management
Fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat will be available to captain Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal starting on February 16 in Kolkata, after he was released from the India squad for the second Test against Australia starting on February 17.
It is understood that Unadkat was keen to play the Ranji Trophy final and initiated the request with the Indian team management before the selectors approved his release.
Saurashtra qualified for the Ranji Trophy final on Sunday by beating Karnataka by four wickets in the semi-final in Bengaluru. Bengal won the other semi-final against Madhya Pradesh by 306 runs.
Unadkat's availability is a boost to Saurashtra's prospects in the final, as they aim for their second title after winning their first in the 2019-20 season. Though he has played just three matches this Ranji Trophy season, Unadkat led the side in all those fixtures and took 17 wickets at an average of 13.64.
His best performance came in the group match against Delhi, when he took a hat-trick in the first over of the match on his way to career-best innings figures of 8 for 39. He also scored 70 in that game. Unadkat did not play any of the knockouts for Saurashtra, who were led by Arpit Vasavada in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
After making his Test comeback in Bangladesh in December last year following a gap of 12 years, Unadkat was part of India's Test squad for the first two Tests of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. He did not feature in the XI in the first Test of the series in Nagpur, which India won by an innings and 132 runs inside three days. The second Test will be played in Delhi between February 17 and 21, and India are expected to field an unchanged bowling attack comprising R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.