Ranji Trophy: The secret behind Uttar Pradesh's fightback against Mumbai

Some of Uttar Pradesh's cricketers have been sporting training jerseys with inspirational words embossed on them. Akshdeep Nath's had self-belief printed on it.

Akshdeep Nath led UP's fightback with a well-crafted hundred   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Dressing room whiteboards are often dressed with motivational one-liners. But some of Uttar Pradesh’s seniors and promising cricketers have been sporting training jerseys with inspirational words embossed on them.

Perhaps it was the “self-belief” mentioned on his jersey ahead of the match, albeit, with a spelling error, that spurred Akshdeep Nath en route to a classy hundred on Day 1 of its Ranji Trophy tie versus Mumbai on Sunday.

REPORT| Ranji Trophy: Akshdeep, Rinku make Mumbai toil

Sunil Joshi, the former India left-arm spinner, revealed it was his idea to imbibe a sense of the role among the regulars in the team so that it can rub on to the youngsters. “To unite and inspire as a group, certain seniors were assigned certain roles. Whenever you wear that, I thought the character should come out,” Joshi told Sportstar.

“Aksh was getting the start and he was missing on a big score, so I gave him ‘self-belief’ before this match. We gave (Mohd.) Saif ‘consistency’, Yash Dayal ‘fearless’ because he is coming out of injury, Ankit being the leader has been given ‘responsibility’ and Saurabh is a committed fellow, so we gave him ‘responsibility’.”

As it happened| Ranji Trophy- Round 6: UP, Rajasthan take honours on day one

Joshi had been thinking of introducing such a novel concept for some time. “ I put it across to the Bangladesh team (during my stint as spin bowling coach) but they were not ready for it, so I thought I would try it out with UP since it’s a big state,” Joshi said. “The idea is to try and bring the best from a different perspective and to get them to deliver as a unit. Hopefully, it’s working out for them.”

  Dugout videos