Jaydev Unadkat on Sunday said Saurashtra’s second Ranji Trophy win spoke of his team’s dominance in recent times.
After leading Saurashtra to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over host Bengal in the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Unadkat said his side had been performing well in all conditions.
“A lot of guys said we were suited to our conditions, but that wasn’t (the case). It was important to win this one to prove the dominance and to show that this era, the decade belong to Saurashtra. I’m proud of what this team has achieved,” said Unadkat.
“Three trophies (including the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season) in three years proves that we have been doing a lot of things right. It was down to playing better cricket, and that’s what we did in four days.”
Unadkat said the win was a fitting tribute to another team-mate Cheteshwar Pujara, who played his 100th Test for India in the series against Australia in Delhi.
The Saurashtra skipper said Bengal fought well. “It was a good contest till today’s (Sunday) morning. They were in the game. We bowled in the right areas, better than their bowlers a lot of times. Our batters showed more composure and resilience.
“There was more calmness in our dressing room. They wanted to win it very eagerly, as it was at Eden. It happened to us as well while playing (the final) in Rajkot (in 2020).”
Unadkat acknowledged the contribution of Arpit Vasavada, who gathered 907 runs in the season and captained in a few matches.
Sharing his vision for Saurashtra, Unadkat said, “It’s not just about winning trophies, but creating a legacy for our team which will leave a bigger impact on cricket in the region. Our goal will be to carry forward this legacy for at least three-four years till the core of our team is intact.
“When we won the first trophy, I was more satisfied. We still want to establish supremacy in the domestic circuit where any team that plays us will think twice and make double the effort.”
About his form, Unadkat, who got released from the Indian Test side to lead Ranji Trophy final against Bengal, said, “I do feel the body is in good shape. I am excited and eager for the things to follow. The ball is coming out nicely off the hand. I’m able to bowl long spells, which is crucial.”
Unadkat was pleased to see fans at the Eden on all days of the final. “It was important to play at the Eden because this place holds a lot of history and legacy for Indian cricket.
“The fact that we played our final here and the crowd that came in showed that domestic cricket is on an upward curve. The atmosphere was so nice that the Ranji Trophy final seemed like an international match,” said Unadkat.
Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary said losing the toss was a huge disadvantage as Saurashtra pacers benefitted from the moisture on a fresh pitch to torment the home batters in the first innings.
“Our bowlers bowled in a good channel throughout the season but could not do so in this match,” said Tiwary, adding that catching up was always tough against a quality opponent.
Tiwary accepted that his call, due to some visibility issue deep in the field, resulting in Shahbaz’s run out was a turning point as a good partnership would have helped Bengal stay in the contest.