Ranji Trophy: Batting wasn't up to the mark, says Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel

Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel, after the semifinal loss against Saurashtra, talked about how his team's batting failed to deliver throughout the season.

Chasing 327 runs, Gujarat lost five early wickets but Parthiv Patel’s (in frame) 93 and Chirag Gandhi’s 96 brought the side closer before Unadkat wreaked havoc.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

Parthiv Patel is a seasoned campaigner. Having spent nearly two decades in first-class cricket, he has been a witness to many cliffhangers. But then, the 34-year-old will remember the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Saurashtra for a long time.

After all, it was one of those fixtures, where fortunes changed every session. “The last time I possibly played a game like this was in the Ranji Trophy final (in 2017). That game was worthy of a final. This game also was that good. When two good sides are playing, this kind of a game happens.” Parthiv said after Gujarat’s 92-run defeat.

Chasing 327 runs, Gujarat lost five early wickets, but Parthiv’s 93 and Chirag Gandhi’s 96 brought the side closer. However, with Jaydev Unadkat’s fiery spell, the visiting team lost the plot in the final session of the last day.

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“On the fifth day also, we knew we could chase down 327. We had that belief,” Parthiv said. “But Saurashtra held its nerves and won the crucial moments where it had a chance to come back and eventually, it won it.”

Being the senior-most member of the side, Parthiv tried playing a key role in the middle-order this season. And the captain explained that the idea was to get more opportunities to the youngsters and make sure that his team fared well. “Whenever the situation is tense, I can take care of the it batting down the order. The youngsters too can learn from that and go to the next level and become match winners,” he added, admitting that the top-order failed to deliver.

“Batting hasn’t been up to the mark throughout the season. We won a lot of matches riding on our bowling. I think batting is one area where we can sit down and find out how can batsmen can convert those 400-500 run seasons to 700-800 run season.”

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This season particularly, Priyank Panchal had a lean patch, but Parthiv believes that the opener will bounce back soon. “He has been playing for long, so such things happen. There is nothing wrong with his batting," Parthiv said.

In a roller-coaster semifinal, Gujarat had created chances to go past Saurashtra, which eventually did not happen. But this season, surely, will be a learning experience for the side. 

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