Vidarbha defeated Saurashtra in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy final by 78 runs on Thursday (February 7) and successfully defended the title. All players and the coach Chandrakant Pandit are on the same page that last year’s victory was no fluke, and lifted the trophy once again. Here’s what they had to say on their successful campaign:
Faiz Fazal, Vidarbha captain: It feels unreal. Behind all this, there is a lot of hard work from each and every one. It is different, first time is always special but we had to work really hard this season. The whole team has worked hard in the off season. Really happy with the entire season but more happy with the way we played this final. Can’t thank them (team) enough as each and every member of the support stuff has been incredible. They give us everything and made our life comfortable.
Aditya Sarwate, Man of the Match: It was a terrific final. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Saurashtra team far coming this far. They (team management) are always there for us. In the second innings it was difficult to rotate the strike but the idea was to bat long and let the pitch deteriorate. The runs with the tail were crucial.
Chandrakant Pandit, Vidarbha coach: It’s a very important win for us. People were saying it’s fluke (last year’s win), but we have proved them wrong and won it for the second time. There was a lot of pressure on the players but we only followed the process. You can see the results. It’s just a matter of beginning for us. The support from the association was great.
Umesh Yadav: Brilliant performance from the boys, really good. It’s a big achievement for Vidarbha. The way support staff handled all the players and helped them was really good. The youngsters have gained a lot of maturity over the years and we would like to keep it going. Earlier other players didn’t really know about Vidarbha, but these two wins have put us on the map.
Wasim Jaffer:Absolutely great feeling. Playing tenth final is not a small thing, winning two in two is outstanding. I enjoy playing cricket. Chandrakant Pandit brought me to Vidarbha from Mumbai and he gave me a lot of confidence. I know only playing cricket and I don’t want to let it go.
Akshay Wakhare: He’s (Wasim Jaffer) one of the best professionals, all credit goes to him. Everybody was saying it was a fluke when we won the Ranji Trophy last year. I want to tell them all that it’s a fluke for the second time.
While Saurashtra failed to deliver that knock out blow, skipper Jaydev Unadkat didn’t shy away from heaping heavy praise on the brand of cricket his players played throughout the tournament.
Jaydev Unadkat: The final lived up to the expectation. It was a close game and we fought really hard. Credit goes to Vidarbha. The brand of cricket we played was impressive and until I am leading this bunch, I will ensure that we play the same way.
Many guys debuted this season and had a good run in the team. It wasn’t just about Cheteshwar or Ravindra, but the youngsters stood up in the knockouts and in the league stage. I just hope to lead this bunch of guys and nurture this brand of cricket.
We have given it everything and fought till the end. It has been a good season personally and hope to continue the same form. Lot to learn from Vidarbha and that’s how you improve your cricket.