In the absence of Jaydev Unadkat, Arpit Vasavada has had a big responsibility of leading Saurashtra. And in the ongoing season, Vasavada has fulfilled the duties handed to him with elan, guiding the team to yet another semifinal of the Ranji Trophy.
In the quarterfinal against Punjab, Saurashtra took the game to the fifth day and eventually claimed a 71-run win. Even as the players celebrated their success, captain Vasavada felt the team will need to work a bit more on its fast bowling as it gears up to take on Karnataka in the semifinal in Bengaluru.
“Playing away is different. Over the last couple of years, we have done well. And we want to keep that going,” Vasavada told Sportstar. “We need to back our strength and work a bit on our fast bowling. We have Chirag Jani, Chetan Sakariya and a good bench strength, so we need to use them well and plan accordingly as the conditions in Bengaluru could favour the fast bowlers.”
At the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, spinners dominated the show with Parth Bhut and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja claiming eight wickets each. But in the semis, things could be different. But Vasavada isn’t thinking too far ahead.
“We are not thinking too far ahead. We want to enjoy this moment as it was like a roller-coaster ride and I am happy that we could come back strongly in both the departments - batting and bowling. Happy with the way the boys have played,” he added.
Top-order batting has been an area of concern for the home team in the quarterfinal, but Vasavada does not want to read much between the lines. “In the beginning of the season, Snell Patel wasn’t scoring, but in this game, he made the most of the opportunity and batted well. Harvik (Desai) is one of the highest scorers in the season right now, but he could not score in this one. Such things happen. It’s not like the top-order has been collapsing for a long time. If the top-order plays well in the next game, it will be good for us,” he said.
When it travels to Bengaluru, the team will certainly miss Unadkat, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batter Cheteshwar Pujara. Vasavada, however, is seeing this as an opportunity for the youngsters to step up and deliver.
“The culture of the team has been developed by JD (Unadkat) for the last three to four years. I try to be myself and take it as an opportunity to show my skills. In their (Unadkat, Pujara and Jadeja) absence, it’s an opportunity for everyone to prove. We just want to play our natural game.”