I’ve been setting goals for myself: Unadkat

The Saurashtra pacer is reading autobiographies to keep himself motivated.

New Delhi: There is hardly a common thread in the lives of legendary athlete Milkha Singh and business tycoon Richard Branson, but their varied life stories inspire fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat.

Unadkat, one of the youngest members of the Indian ODI team, loves reading autobiographies, and has recently read Milkha and Branson. The leftarm bowler says he doesn’t read life stories for the sole purpose of seeking inspiration, but he somehow still ‘gains’ something from them.

Autobiographies could well have played a role in shaping Unadkat’s career. The bowler has recently performed admirably for India ‘A’, but he continues to seek control over the ball – like the way he handles the controller while playing FIFA on his play station – for mastery over line and length.

Unadkat is also adding strength to his tall and lean frame so that he can excel in longer duration matches too.

“For the last two-three years I’ve been setting goals for myself, not in terms of wickets but in terms of bowling in the right areas consistently. I always try to live up to my own expectations,” Unadkat, who is here for Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy game against Railways, told Mail Today.

“Before a season, or before a match, I say to myself that on a particular wicket, on a particular ground, against a particular team I want to bowl in particular areas with consistency, and not give away many runs. If you bowl in the right areas most of the times, you tend to get wickets,” explained the Saurashtra bowler.

Unadkat played a solitary Test, in South Africa in 2010, before being dumped. He is now eager to stage a comeback. “My target is to return to the Indian team as soon as possible. I’m in the ODI team, but I’ll be more than happy to be in the Test team as well. For that, I need to work hard, do well in these [Ranji Trophy] matches to prove that I’m consistent enough and strong enough to last in Tests,” he said.

“I’m still young and I’m still improving on various aspects of fitness. I’m really looking forward to doing well and to bowling to my strengths to the best of my capability to prove to myself that I’m good enough,” he averred.

“I’ve been working in the gym regularly for the last couple of years and have been doing the cardio stuff as well, besides training on the ground and bowling a lot. All of that will help me become stronger and last for a longer period of time.” Off the field, Unadkat loves reading autobiographies, and taking charge of the controller of his play station.

“I like reading good autobiographies of successful sportsmen and businessmen/industrialists. I don’t like any particular author, but I’ve read a lot of autobiographies and motivational and inspirational stuff. I also read fiction at times,” he said.

“I don’t look forward to reading those books with the aim to get inspired, but somehow they do inspire me internally, I guess. I love playing my play station games, particularly the various FIFA games, to relax. I’ve been teaching it to my teammates. I also listen to music.” Unadkat missed Saurashtra’s first Ranji game, against Rajasthan last month, as he was with the Indian ODI team for the series against Australia.

On his return to the team, Unadkat on Thursday watched the action from the dressing room on the truncated first day of the second match against the Railways as they won the toss and opted to bowl at the Jamia Millia Islamia Sports Complex.

The first session of two-and-a-half hours was completely lost due to poor visibility and when the action began, Railways pacer Anureet Singh rocked the visiting Saurashtra top order with a three- wicket burst to reduce them to 24 for four by the 14th over. His victims were Sagar Jogyani, Chirag Pathak and Sheldon Jackson.

The hard-working Anureet was impressive throughout and ended the day with superb figures of 18-9-24-3. Pacer Krishnakant Upadhyay dismissed the other batsman, Bhushan Chatham, before Armpit Vasawada (batting 44, 170 minutes, 109 balls, 3x4s) and captain Jaydev Shah (batting 25, 147 min, 97 balls) stopped the mayhem with their unbeaten 64-run partnership.

Both put their heads down and preferred to defend most of the times. Jaydav was lucky, too. He got a reprieve when at three (37/4) as Karan Sharma in slips spilled the catch off Anureet.

Brief scores: Saurashtra (1st innings): 88/4 (Arpit Vasawada batting 44, Jaydev Shah batting 25, Anureet Singh 3/24)

RAINA SHINES

Suresh Raina led from the front with a fluent century before Uttar Pradesh finished at 291/9 against Baroda in the Group B Ranji Trophy match in Vadodara on Thursday.

Raina made 123 off 154 balls after Uttar Pradesh opted to bat at the Moti Bagh Stadium.

Scores:
Group A: Haryana: 235/4 in 90 overs (S. Singh batting 101) vs Vidarbha. Mumbai: 207/5 in 71 overs (W. Jaffer not out 92, S. Yadav batting 44; S. Kaul 2/44) vs Punjab. Gujarat: 281/7 in 90 overs (Venugopal Rao 107; S. Narwal 5/56) vs Delhi. Group B: Rajasthan: 222/6 in 87 overs (V. Saxena batting 110; S. Lahiri 2/24) vs Bengal. Tamil Nadu: 294/3 in 90 overs (S. Badrinath batting 126, B. Aparajith 118) vs MP. UP: 291/9 in 89.4 overs (S. Raina 123; B. Bhatt 5/98, U. Patel 4/74) vs Baroda. Group C. Kerala: 236/4 in 90 overs (S. Samson 115) vs Andhra.

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