‘He can partner Jasprit Bumrah’ – Virender Sehwag advises struggling MI to include Jaydev Unadkat in playing XI

Unadkat has taken 85 wickets in 86 IPL matches but his economy rate of 8.74 is on the higher side.

Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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Mumbai Indians have made a dismal start to their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign, losing their first three games of the season. Several loopholes have been exposed in the Rohit Sharma-led side and many are not backing them to go a long way this season. Meanwhile, a fragile bowling attack has arguably been MI’s biggest problem so far.

While Jasprit Bumrah spearheads the attack, he hasn’t received much support from his partners. The likes of Tymal Mills and Daniel Sams haven’t really lived up to the expectations. While Basil Thampi took a three-fer in his first assignment this season, he went for runs in his next two outings. Speaking on the matter, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag urged MI to induct Jaydev Unadkat into the playing XI.

One of the only two bowlers to take two five-fers in IPL history, Unadkat has been warming the benches so far and Sehwag reckons the left-arm pacer’s experience should be utilized. “Until last year, MI had someone like a Nathan Coulter-Nile, who would play if a pacer wasn’t performing well or was injured. If you look at MI’s bench strength now, it’s like the management will think twice to include those sitting out of the XI,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

“The likes of Mayank Markande, Jaydev Unadkat, Riley Meredith, and Arshad Khan are sitting out. Besides, even guys such as Sanjay Yadav, Arjun Tendulkar, Hrithik Shokeen, and others aren’t the type of names who can replace Basil Thampi or Daniel Sams,” he added.

MI’s bowling stocks appear weak: Virender Sehwag

Notably, Unadkat has taken 85 wickets in 86 IPL matches but his economy rate of 8.74 is on the higher side. From getting the new ball to swing to delivering slower deliveries in the slog overs, the 30-year-old has many weapons in his armoury. However, his tendency to get wayward has restricted him from performing consistently.

Nonetheless, Sehwag believes Unadkat would be MI’s best bet at the moment. “Of them all, I think only Unadkat is the one, who has experience and did well one season for Pune (Rising Pune Supergiant). He was sold for some 15-16 crore (INR 11.5 crore in IPL 2018 auction) but even then, his next season wasn’t that great. So he is the only one who looks potent enough to partner Bumrah,” opined the former Indian opener.

“Barring him, there aren’t too many others. MI don’t have a bowler who can bowl three overs in the Powerplay and they can’t afford to make Bumrah bowl three overs. MI’s bowling stocks appear weak so their batters need to work hard this time around,” he further said.