Unadkat may be just 29, but the previous selection committee, and clearly the present one, headed by former India fast bowler Chetan Sharma, already consider him to be too old to play for India, revealed Ghavri.
“I asked a selector during the Ranji Trophy final (2019-20) that if a bowler takes more than 60 wickets and has taken his team into the final of the Ranji Trophy single-handedly, shouldn’t he be at least picked for India A. That selector told me: ‘Kadu bhai, he won’t be picked for India anymore. His name is not even considered by us when we think of 30-odd players.’ ‘Why not, I asked him.’ ‘Then what’s the point of him picking so many wickets? I was told that ‘he’s already 32-33. Age is spoiling his case. It has put a full stop to his India career,'” Ghavri told TOI on Tuesday.
The 70-year-old Ghavri was further told by the selector that they would prefer to invest in a youngster rather than an ageing Unadkat.
“Why should we invest in an older player? We would rather pick a 21, 22 or a 23-year-old player if he’s good, he can serve India for 8-10-12 years. If we pick Unadkat today, how many years will he serve India for?’ This is what that selector told me,” revealed Ghavri.
Unadkat has played 18 internationals for India -one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is. He is a veteran of 89 first-class matches with 327 wickets.
He was the highest wicket-taker (67) in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season, during which he led Saurashtra to the title. He also took 39 wickets in the 2018-19 season in which Saurashtra lost the final to Vidarbha.
“I wish he gets picked for the Sri Lanka tour atleast, but it’s very difficult for him to break the ice and get into the Indian team, because the selectorial policy is something else only,” rued Ghavri.