Ranji Trophy: Satish is wary of lower order threat

Vidarbha batsman Ganesh Satish pointed at the number of runs the Saurashtra lower order scored in its first innings; the game is not over.

Ganesh Satish played a valuable knock of 35 as Vidarbha set a target of 206 for the visitor on day four. (FILE IMAGE)   -  Vivek Bendre

Vidarbha batsman Ganesh Satish was promoted up the order to up the ante on a slow day three wicket in the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra at the VCA ground. 

The experienced batsman played a valuable knock of 35 as Vidarbha set a target of 206 for the visitor on day four.

Though Saurashtra is staring at a defeat, reeling at 58/5, Satish doesn’t want to get complacent ahead of the final day. “The lower order has got runs in all three innings. We are taking it one wicket at a time. But it’s not easy to score runs, you’ve got to rotate the strike, take singles on this wicket,” he said.

“It’s a bit difficult to score runs. If you look to block, it’s not easy to get wickets as well. After a while, the ball gets softer. So if you feel you are in, one good ball is what it takes [to be dismissed]."

Satish recalled how Vidarbha had defended 197 in the 2017-18 Ranji semifinal against Karnataka. “That gave us confidence. The coach and the senior players spoke about it. These low targets are never easy to chase in such high-pressure games. We were just thinking of getting a couple of quick wickets and putting some pressure on them.

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“I think the bounce is okay, I don’t think that’s changed, it’s the speed of the wicket, it’s a little slow now.”

Satish also praised the Saurashtra bowlers for their precision. “The fast bowlers didn’t give any loose balls. I don’t think we were over defensive, we were looking to be positive. We spoke about it, that we have to rotate, but they bowled really well, so we had to play on the merit of the ball,” he said.

Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Aditya Sarwate led the spin department of Vidarbha after scoring a fighting 49. He dismissed India No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara twice in the game entering the 50-wicket club in the season. 

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“We knew there was some help for the spinners. So we knew we were always in the game. Sarwate has been consistent throughout the season and he is always getting crucial runs for us [with the bat]. Fifty-plus wickets is really a great achievement,” Satish added.

The leg-before dismissal

Satish was declared leg-before initially, but the decision was later changed to ‘caught at silly point’. The ball was actually sliding down leg and there was an inside edge as well. Vishvaraj Jadeja had luckily collected it at silly point. 

At that moment, Satish didn’t know he had nicked it. “I didn’t realise it had got the bat. I definitely hit the pad, but I didn’t realise there was an inside edge. Later on I got to know it was a catch.”

With a full day at its disposal, Saurashtra needs 148 more runs with five wickets in hand.