Stepping into Zaheer Khan’s shoes can be unnerving but Jaydev Unadkat has made that transition reasonably well so far for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
With Zaheer slowly recovering from a calf-strain, Unadkat has provided the left-arm seam option to his captain Virat Kohli.
Ahead of the IPL game against his former team Kolkata Knight Riders, Unadkat attributed his improved performance to the faith invested in him by the team-management. “There is a lot of competition with regard to fast bowling in our team.
“It really boosts my confidence to know that the captain and coach have the confidence in me that I will do well on the field. We have been strategising about how to go about in the matches,” Unadkat said.
The seamer emphasised that measures are being taken to minimise runs given away in the slog overs. “If you see the wickets that we have played on, the ball comes along nicely to the bat. We have done everything, watching the videos and planning and all.
“When it comes to the execution, we cannot be 100 per cent in any match, we can be near 100 per cent. If two hard-hitting batsmen are there and if our plans don’t work then stress does happen on that day.
“The seniors like Zak bhai (Zaheer Khan) have been working on all these aspects. We will improve as the matches come along,” Unadkat said.
If it was all about progress and hope for Unadkat, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir reiterated the ‘it is still early days’ surmise when asked specifically about his team and the IPL in general.
Gambhir was quick to play down Chris Gayle’s impact and said: “(Sunil) Narine has turned from a mystery spinner into a world-class spinner. Chris knows about him and he knows about Chris.
“So it’s not about an individual. We don’t plan for any particular individual. We do it for the entire team.”
The KKR captain also backed Yusuf Pathan to fire in the remaining matches.