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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Zaheer is the source of my inspiration: Unadkat

Zaheer is the source of my inspiration: Unadkat

November 17, 2010 15:47 IST

He is the newest among the breed of left-arm quicks that India have produced in recent years and no wonder Jaidev Unadkat idolises India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, whom he has replaced in the squad for the third Test against New Zealand, starting from Saturday.

If that's not all, he wants to bat like Harbhajan Singh, who has surprised one and all with his back-to-back centuries.

"Zaheer is my idol as I have learnt a lot by just watching him bowl. It is indeed a privilege for me that I got a chance to be in Test team. If I get a chance to play, I will try to prove my mettle," the 19-year-old Saurashtra speedster said.

Unadkat had replaced injured Ishant Sharma during second Test against Australia in Banglore last month but wasn't a part of the playing XI.

The lanky pacer rose to fame through his impressive performance in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League season and then for India A in their tour of UK.

Jaidev UnadkatIncidentally, Unadkat got a match-haul of 13 wickets against West Indies A side during his debut first-class game in Leicester.

Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders he won the man-of-the-match award for his three-wicket haul against Shane Warne-led-Rajasthan Royals at Eden Garden. He has been praised by none other than the legendary Wasim Akram.

Unadkat also owes his success to KKR captain Sourav Ganguly and bowling coach Akram.

"Dada (Ganguly) taught me to be mentally tough. He gave me lot of tips about handling the pressure. Wasim bhai (Akram) also worked a lot on my bowling. I will be thankful to both of them for helping me become a better bowler," he said.

He said that he is here because of his performances at the first-class level and wants to continue that.

"I don't believe in comparisons. There is a healthy competition among the Indian bowlers, which is good for Indian Cricket. I am here because of what I have done in the past. I would work hard to maintain that consistency," he said.

Unadkat also revealed that Harbhajan Singh inspired him to concentrate on batting as well.

"I have never worked on my batting earlier. But now I will consider that. I want be an all-rounder like Harbhajan. I will take tips from him for sure," he said.

He is also excited to be a part of Indian dressing room with legendary Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

"Just like millions of cricket lovers, I have also grown up watching them (Tendulkar, Dravid) on television. It is dream come true for me to share the dressing room with them," he concluded.

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