Fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat said that his record price tag at the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction gives him the belief for the rest of his career that he has the skills that would force a team to make him their priority.
Unadkat's brilliant 2017 season in which he took 24 wickets at an average of 13.41 for the Rising Pune Supergiant led to him being bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 11.5 crore. It made him the most expensive Indian cricketer to be sold in the auction.
"The 2018 auction has been the talking point about my career for a couple of years. It was the auction I was looking forward to after having a good season in 2017 and then making a comeback into the national team; it was going to be a big auction. I was certain that whichever franchise will pick me up, it will be a long term relationship. I was happy that it was Rajasthan Royals who actually pick the players on the basis of the data analysis on them and not just the names," said Unadkat in a video interview with his RR teammate Ish Sodhi on the IPL franchise's Facebook page.
Unadkat however struggled to live up to the price tag, picking just 11 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 44.18. His inconsistency also led to him losing his place in the Indian T20 squad. His price was brought up every time he failed throughout the season but Unadkat said that it will always be proof of the ability he possesses.
"I was happy that I was right up there in their books. They showed a lot of trust and confidence in buying me for that price," he said. "What that has done is it has given me a belief that is going to stay with me for the rest of my career that I have those skills. Yes, I was not good enough in the seasons since but I still know that I have those skills inside me. If I am able to have as much confidence as I have on them now, I am actually going to live up to those expectations that everyone has on me."
Unadkat has since bounced with a strong season in the Ranji Trophy in which he was the highest wicket taker in the tournament and captained Saurashtra to the title.