Saurashtra, on Sunday, beat Bengal by 9 wickets in the Ranji Trophy final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, lifting their second title in four years. Pacer Jaydev Unadkat- the captain of the side - dedicated the triumph to Cheteshwar Pujara and termed the batter the region’s “one of the favourite sons.”
Unadkat has also been accompanying the Indian unit in the ongoing home series. But, he pulled himself out of the second Test to serve his regional team in the Ranji final.
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Following the phenomenal victory, Unadkat said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo, “As I said before, it’s a fitting tribute to one of Saurashtra’s favourite sons, Chintu (Pujara’s nickname).”
TEAM SAURASHTRA! It isn’t just a team, it is an emotion! It is love! It is fire & ice & everything nice..This is special guys! To many more trophies & memories..❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/oUKAZTvByb
— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) February 19, 2023
Meanwhile, a few hours after Saurashtra’s victory, Pujara completed his 100th Test for India in the second game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in New Delhi. He is now only the 13th Indian cricketer to achieve the feat. Following a duck in the first innings, he played an unbeaten knock of 3 runs off 74 deliveries in the fourth innings. The winning boundary also came from his willow which steered the to register a 6-wicket win.
Pujara appeared in two Ranji Trophy matches for Saurashtra this year. He got the opportunity to bat in three innings and recorded 121 runs before joining the national unit. Although, Unadkat revealed that Pujara was constantly supporting them in the summit game, even though he was involved in the Delhi Test.
“He was equally eager, wishing us all throughout,” the speedster said.
Furthermore, Unadkat highlighted Saurashtra’s recent dominance in the domestic circuit. Earlier in December 2022, the Unadkat-led side took home the Vijay Hazare Trophy, defeating Maharashtra in the final.
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“It was important to win this one to prove our dominance and to show everyone that this era, this decade belongs to Saurashtra,” the proud skipper noted.
In the end, Unadkat said that his team will look to build on the success and “carry forward this legacy for at least 3-4 years till the core of the team is intact.”
“Three trophies in three years prove that we have been doing a lot of things right. We have set a tone. I’m really proud of what this team has achieved. It’s not just about winning trophies but creating a legacy for our team, which will leave a bigger impact on cricket in the region,” he explained further.
Unadkat has been called up for the remaining Tests of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He has also been included in the Indian squad for the three subsequent One-Day Internationals against the Aussies.
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