Ranji Trophy semifinals: Parthiv Patel banking on 'team game'

Coming into the semifinal after a mammoth 464-run win against Goa, the side appears confident ahead of its big outing against Saurashtra in Rajkot.

Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel (right) with Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat at a practice session in Rajkot on Friday.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

 

This has been a season of aggression, attitude and accomplishment for Gujarat. The Parthiv Patel-led side, which last won the Ranji Trophy in 2016-17, has been a dominant team in this edition. It remained undefeated in the league stage alongside Karnataka.

What’s more impressive is the fact that across all three Elite groups, none of the teams could match Gujarat’s tally of five wins — four of which were one-sided affairs.

The semifinal will be a different ball game altogether with Saurashtra as its opponent.

“Saurashtra is always a good side when they are playing at home. In the season, we have tried to execute our plans and make sure that we play to our potential. Nothing changes in the semifinal and that’s going to be our game plan,” Parthiv told Sportstar on Friday.

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With the young guns stepping up and helping out the seasoned campaigners, Gujarat has had a smooth sailing in the tournament so far and Parthiv trusts the ‘team game’ to continue.

“As far as our team is concerned, we have been doing well. There aren’t many players in top run-getters or top wicket-takers’ list, but it shows that we have gelled well as a team. Whenever required, someone or the other have put their hands up for a match-winning performance,” he said.

Coming into the semifinal after a mammoth 464-run win against Goa, the side appears confident ahead of its big outing at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

“We don’t rely on only one or two guys, so that’s a good thing. We have been here (in such a situation) before, so have they. We want to try and win every season,” Parthiv said.

While he is aware that it will be a challenging task to tame the home team, the fact that there are no injury woes in the team does add to the Gujarat captain’s confidence. “All the boys are fresh and are raring to go,” he informed.

Ahead of the season, there were doubts whether the team will be able to deliver under new coach Sairaj Bahutule. And now that it has maintained consistency, has the thought of clinching another title crossed the captain’s mind? “We have done really well throughout the season, so obviously, we are looking forward to the final. The thoughts of winning the title is always there but that’s not something we are thinking right now. To win the final, we have to ensure that we win the semifinal…” the captain said.

Last year, despite playing impressive cricket, Gujarat was stunned by Kerala in the quarterfinals, and perhaps taking lessons from that, the message from the camp is loud and clear — play to your strength but keep calm!

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