Ranji Trophy: Ronit More’s epiphany at Chinnaswamy

The young Karnataka pacer’s disciplined bowling throws light on India’s potential pace bank in domestic cricket.

Ronith More (R) celebrates after taking wicket of Harvik Desai of Saurashtra.   -  SUDHAKARA JAIN

Domestic bowlers rarely get a chance to swing the red ball past international batsmen. Karnataka pacer Ronit More knows he is lucky to have unleashed a slice of his discipline in front of Cheteshwar Pujara – one of India’s best in five-day cricket.

Fighting for a place in the Ranji Trophy final, More bagged his fourth fifer (5/54) of the season. He didn’t dismiss Pujara but the lad was part of a clinical 10-over spell that tested Saurashtra’s nerves at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

READ | More's five-for leaves the match evenly poised

He bowled in partnership with Abhimanyu Mithun.

In the end, the 26-year-old capitalised on his first two wickets to get three more. All were length balls on the fourth stump line that stole nicks.

“In the last ball before lunch, we got a wicket and the momentum shifted towards us. Pujara is their main batsman and they were dependent on him. We were planning how to get him out. We were talking of keeping the ball at the fourth stump and see what happens from there,” he said.

Pujara got a reprieve within that spell, when a Mithun short-pitched cracker deflected off his gloves but adjudged not out.

“Not disappointed, but that’s how the game works. Sometimes you get wickets and sometimes, you don’t. Bowling in the right areas is in our hands, getting wickets depends on luck. It was a close call,” he added.

READ | Did Pujara nick it? ‘no idea’, says the non-striker

With 35 wickets and counting, More has been Karnataka’s best bowler this season. He credits seniors Vinay Kumar, Mithun and player-turned-bowling coach Sreenath Aravind for the ascension.

Vinay gave him a piece of advice that calmed his nerves in front of Pujara. “He told me there is not much of a difference in batting even if it is an international player. It’s just the patience. Batsmen are more patient when they go to a higher level. He told me to stay patient too, and hit the right areas,” he added.

More was drafted into the squad when an injury had ruled out Vinay in the initial phase of the tournament. He has been a regular since then.