When Karnataka batsman Ganesh Satish moved to Vidarbha in the 2014-15 season, there were no expectations as such from the Nagpur-based side. The 29-year-old was keen to reinvent himself as a middle-order batsman.
Karnataka often pushed him down the order which led to inconsistent performances. In the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 final against Saurashtra that Vidarbha won by 78 runs on Thursday, Satish was promoted to No. 3 in the second innings. His contribution  proved vital on a wicket that allowed only two other batsmen to cross the 30-run mark; Mohit Kale  and Aditya Sarwate .
Though Satish had a moderate season — five fifties and a few 30s — he remains a rock in the Vidarbha batting department.
Sportstar caught up with him at the VCA ground, amid the revelries, for a quick chat on the second consecutive Ranji victory.
“Nobody had expected us to win last year. That victory was completely a different experience to this year. As defending champions, there are always expectations. This win proved that the last was not a one-off thing and we are a force to reckon with,” he said.
Satish revealed that the focus of the management is to build a side that will create fear among the opponents. “Last year, our president [Anand Jaiswal] had said that he wants a side that will be spoken about. When people talk about tough opponents, we want our association to be one in the coming years. That is what we are looking to do. It is a very young side apart from a few senior players. We are looking to build a strong future,” said Satish.
He also stressed on the good show by Vidarbha cricketers at the U-19 level. “The junior teams are also doing well, which shows the kind of cricket culture that has come into this state.”
Having played against big teams in the past for Karnataka, Satish feels there is not much difference in the two sides at the moment.
“Initially, the mentality was different. Now, there is no difference as such. As a new team under construction, you don’t get into a tournament with pressure as you are not expected to win. That was the story when I came in. But now, people know what to expect from us. The mentality is now the same [like it is with Karnataka],” he added.
Satish is still based out of Bengaluru and he camps in Nagpur only from the pre-season camp. “I still play the KSCA tournaments that happens before the start of Ranji.”
Not staying in the state he represents is not a worry for the seasoned cricketer. “I think it has been five years now. I know everyone really well. I have my own room at the association. I don’t think there is any problem of imbibibing the culture. All these guys are my close friends. I can almost understand Marathi now. I am pretty happy here,” Satish said.
In the 2013-14 Ranji final against Maharashtra, Satish had scored crucial 117 for Karnataka.
He was one of the first professional signings for Vidarbha from the following season.
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