2nd Test, Day 1: Unadkat returns to Test cricket after 118 matches, gets record of most Tests missed by an Indian player

India left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat entered the cricket’s record books for the most number of Tests missed by an Indian cricketer. In between his debut in 2010 and now, he missed more than a hundred Test matches, the second-highest in world cricket and the most by an Indian cricketer.

As a teenager, Unadkat made his Test debut against South Africa at Centurion on December 16, 2010, and didn’t get to play any longer format matches for India. In that Test match, he ended with figures of zero wickets for 101 as India lost by an innings and 25 runs.

But on Thursday, when he was picked in place of Kuldeep Yadav for the second Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Unadkat went past Dinesh Karthik’s record of most consecutive Tests missed between appearances for India.

While Unadkat missed 118 Tests between his first and second Test appearance, Karthik missed 87 Tests from 2010 to 2018. Only England’s Gareth Batty has missed more matches (142) in Test cricket history.

In the ongoing match at Dhaka, Unadkat has looked sharp and bowled with great control on his line and length, and even got to extract extra bounce from a grassy pitch. He was rewarded with the wickets of Zakir Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim on the opening day of the match.

Back in the grind of domestic cricket, Unadkat’s record in first-class cricket grew and in the last five years, he emerged as the leader of the Saurashtra side, leading their bowling attack from the front.

He was a central figure in Saurashtra’s first Ranji Trophy title win in 2019/20, picking a record-breaking 67 wickets, the most by a bowler in that season. In the last three Ranji Trophy seasons, Unadkat has grabbed 115 wickets in 21 matches.

Recently, he was the highest wicket-taker in the 2022/23 Vijay Hazare Trophy, picking up 19 wickets in ten matches to lead Saurashtra to the title. Apart from a solitary Test appearance, Unadkat has also played seven ODIs and ten T20Is for India. He was seen in the national set-up last time when India won the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in March 2018.

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