Kanitkar pleased with contributions of seniors in TN Ranji team

"Abhinav Mukund has been excellent with the bat in difficult conditions. He is leading from the front. And Dinesh Karthik has been very consistent. The manner he has been batting, he deserves bigger scores," TN coach Kanitkar said.

Kanitkar, Balaji

Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar has bonded well with bowling coach L. Balaji   -  R.V. Moorthy

Hrishikesh Kanitkar has a simple mantra for success. “You got to finish what you start,” he says.

The Tamil Nadu Ranji coach opened up in a chat with Sportstar, “It’s about never letting your advantage slip and never taking the foot off the pedal. You got to push home the advantage.”

Kanitkat elaborated, “We should not get carried away by success in one or two sessions. We have to build on things like cashing in on starts, taking those last few wickets quickly. If we control the controllable, the results will take care of themselves.”

Being on the road with the Tamil Nadu team has been an enriching experience for this former India cricketer. “I’ve actually played against some of the cricketers and now being the coach is interesting. The team is a good blend of the seniors and the less experienced players. The boys are responding well, they are open to suggestions.”

Tamil Nadu, presently, has 17 points from five games and Kanitkar realised qualifying from a group that included Mumbai, Punjab, Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh can be demanding.

He said, “It is a very tough group and there is no place to hide. But the good thing is if we qualify, we would have already played several extremely good sides. It would be easier for us in the knockout phase.”

Kanitkar was pleased with the contributions of the seniors. “Abhinav Mukund has been excellent with the bat in difficult conditions. He is leading from the front. And Dinesh Karthik has been very consistent. The manner he has been batting, he deserves bigger scores.”

But Tamil Nadu’s batting, he said, was not dependent on one or two individuals. “Kaushik Gandhi made a hundred at No. 3 in Cuttack but when he was asked to open in Raipur, he did not bat an eyelid. That’s the spirit I want to see. The promising Jagadeesan made a century on debut and took some excellent catches as a wicket-keeper. Indrajith has been very solid.”

Dwelling on Tamil Nadu’s pace bowling, so crucial in seamer friendly neutral venue conditions, he said, “T. Natarajan is sharp, has the left-armer’s angle and is every captain’s dream. He would do anything for the skipper. And K. Vignesh, a rhythm and release bowler, is picking key wickets. Aswin Crist has chipped in as well.”

On left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas, Kanitkar said, “He is very consistent and willing to learn and get better.”

Kanitkar has bonded well with bowling coach L. Balaji. “We understand each other and have mutual respect. And we are both process-oriented coaches where the focus is on getting better and not look at runs and wickets alone.”

While winning mattered, Kanitkar said valuable lessons from defeat should not be missed.

The pragmatic Kanitkar has settled in well in this Tamil Nadu team.