Chandrakant Pandit hopes for Vidarbha players to find a place in India A

"Otherwise, what's the point in playing domestic cricket."

Aditya Thakare
Vidarbha pacer Aditya Thakare receives his cap from coach Chandrakant Pandit. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Vidarbha became only the sixth team to win the Ranji Trophy title two times in a row, as they defeated Saurashtra by 78 runs in the finals of the 85th edition of India’s premier domestic tournament at the VCA Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur on Thursday (February 7).

Aditya Sarwate was the hero of the match for Vidarbha with 11 wickets and a score of 49. Captain Faiz Fazal had said that this win should silence the critics who taunted that their last season heroics was a fluke. Coach Chandrakant Pandit was also elated for the team and opined that he dreams that the national selectors will now focus on players from Vidarbha.

Pandit, in an interview with Cricbuzz, said: “No one expected us to win in the first year. In the second year, there was pressure to retain the title to keep our reputation. We were playing against better teams, in a better pool. When the BCCI introduced a new rule this time that only five out of 18 teams (from groups A & B) will qualify for the knockouts, it added to the pressure. But we followed the same processes and routines that we stuck to last season.”

I’m sure that this selection committee will think along those lines

He felt that players like skipper Fazal, Wasim Jaffer and Akshay Wadkar along with Akshay Karnewar, Aditya Sarwate and presence of Umesh Yadav proved to be a boost for their team’s journey to the title. Pandit felt that now the national selectors have to give chances to Vidarbha players in the national teams. He gave the example of previous years when players from Mumbai, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu would perform like this and be rewarded with berths in the Indian team.

“I’m sure that this selection committee will think along those lines too. If not for the India team, then at least these boys deserve a place in India A. Otherwise, what’s the point in playing domestic cricket and winning matches? This tournament has so much reputation. Why not reward players who do well in it consistently?” Pandit added

Chandrakant Pandit was asked to give names of players from Vidarbha who can get the India cap and deserve it the most. Pandit replied with the names of skipper Faiz Fazal, keeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar and Man of the Finals Aditya Sarwate as hopefuls for an India call-up in the future.

Pandit also said that Umesh Yadav should make it in the Indian squad of 2019 World Cup given that he was in top form for Vidarbha picking 12 wickets against Kerala in the semis and nine wickets against Uttarakhand in the quarterfinals.

Lastly, the Vidarbha coach praised the stalwart of the Indian domestic cricket scene, Wasim Jaffer. Pandit said that Jaffer’s spirit of being a Mumbai Khadoos keeps him going even at the age of 40 years. “He doesn’t want to give up. He has that simple Mumbai khadoos attitude ingrained in him, because of which he doesn’t throw his wicket away even at his age,” said Pandit about Jaffer.

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