Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit thanks Sachin Tendulkar after team's win
Updated - Feb 26, 2016 4:53 pm
After having won the Ranji title as a player, Chandrakant Pandit added another feather to his cap, this time as a coach for the third time as Mumbai went on to lift their 41st title in 82 editions of the country’s premiere domestic competition.
“It’s a prestigious tournament. When you come back and you win whether as a player or as a coach, it doesn’t matter,” said the former India wicketkeeper batsman, after Mumbai registered an innings and 21-run victory over Saurashtra in just three days.
“Winning is an entirely different feeling. The way the bunch has played throughout the season, it was outstanding. They responded well. There was a time we had to bounce back after having conceded a lead to Andhra in our first game but we never lost confidence. Skipper Aditya Tare also controlled the team well. We always gelled as a team. We worked for the process and ultimately, we are standing here.”
Chandu Pandit described it as one of the best title wins he has been associated with. “One of the best wins for me was when we beat Delhi at the Wankhede and Ravi Shastri took eight wickets in the 1985 season. From the players’ point of view, many of them are playing for the first time. For them, I’m sure it’s the best win. The entire season has been the best. If you look at every player, you will say he has done something. It was a team effort.”
Reflecting his experience with a quite young team that he was in control of, Pandit said, “This is a young team. It’s easy for me to get them on the same platform. They’re just following instructions, they’re accepting and they’re responding. That makes it easy for the coach, that’s the best thing about them. When there are different kinds of characters, then it becomes difficult.”
As a result of the unit bonding together and pulling in one direction, Chandrakant Pandit said, he didn’t have to do anything extraordinary to motivate the boys. “They had faith in each other. When they entered the field, they knew what had to be done. It was the same age group, with same experience and they wanted to stay together as a family. They’ve taken the initiative in every game, it’s not that only Iyer or Dhawal or Nayar took the initiative. They’ve all shown character and that could be seen on the field.”
He also deemed that Shreyas Iyer, the leading run-scorer of the Ranji Trophy this season, was ready for international cricket. “Looking at his runs and his consistency, he’s given a big boost to the team. We knew that when he was at the crease, the run rate would never be a problem. We were only hoping that he would continue at the crease. And he’s been doing that.”
He further added, “If you think about today’s game, Siddhesh Lad and Sandhu changed the entire scenario of the game. That was what we spoke in the morning, that another hundred runs can change the game and exactly that followed. The entire team is showing character and I hope that they continue. They’re still young and they should not get carried away.”
Chandu sir like they call him in the team also didn’t forget to thank the ex-cricketers for their assistance. “There has been support from a lot of cricketers. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar – they have been in constant touch. I must specially thank Sachin, he’s always been there to help. He’s visited the ground so many times to help every individual.”
The best thing about any sport is ‘Rising apart when you fall’. Even after their poor start against Andhra, Mumbai didn’t lose any hope and set their goals for the title. “It was tough,” Pandit conceded. “Basically, the Mumbai team is expected to win. We believe that the beginning is very important. We were very close, but that never set us back. That was the only shock for us this season. The team said we definitely have to go all out with our planning. We spent a lot of time on that. They might probably not have liked it, but I had to do a lot of talking and planning. I’m very happy that they’ve been sticking to the plan since.”