It is unfortunate that despite twin Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup titles in consecutive years, none of the Vidarbha cricketers have found a place in the senior Indian team. They didn’t bag an IPL contract either.
Ahead of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 season opener against Andhra, skipper Faiz Fazal said there is no room for complacency. “Even after winning two Ranjis and Iranis, our boys haven’t played at the higher level. There is no question of being complacent. As I have said before, we are down to earth people. We are simple guys, aiming to play at the higher level in our careers. We will repeat our hard work,” he told Sportstar on Saturday.
Defending champion Vidarbha has been in top gear in the red ball format but it could not dictate terms with the white ball. “Unfortunately, we didn’t qualify for the final rounds of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy but it gave us time to prepare for Ranji. We did the same old drills which worked for us in the past. We played a few games with match simulations, which we have been doing for two years,” he said.
There will be no Umesh Yadav, at least for the first few games, as the BCCI plans to manage his workload post back-to-back Test matches against South Africa and Bangladesh. But right-arm pacer Lalit Yadav has recovered from his injury. Rajneesh Gurbani will be expected to lead the pace attack.
“We will miss Umesh definitely. His experience, along with bowling, makes a lot of difference. We are happy to have Lalit. Hopefully, all will go well and he will contribute,” said Fazal, who wants to bowl a bit more of seam-up. “I definitely will bowl a bit more, hopefully I will get a chance (laughs) to chip in.”
Vidarbha scores high on the mindset, and that is due to the individual sessions with seasoned coach Chandrakant Pandit. “We have been talking a lot. We talk a lot usually. Chandu sir speaks to the players during nets and after the nets. The main thing is he wants us to give our best. We will play smart and hard cricket. The good thing is that we all are in very good shape; people are batting well and bowling well at the moment.”
- Wasim Jaffer, Faiz Fazal (c), Ganesh Satish, Akshay Wakhare, Akshay Kolhar, Jitesh Sharma, Sanjay Ramaswamy, Aditya Sarwate, Akshay Karnewar, Rajneesh Gurbani, Akshay Wadkar, Lalit M. Yadav, Yash Thakur, Mohit Kale, Suniket Bingewar