Ranji Trophy: Team more important than personal milestones, says Vinay Kumar

The Karnataka skipper, who took his first-class wickets tally to 450 in the Ranji clash against Maharashtra, has been the team's go-to man in moment of crisis.

When the going gets tough, Vinay Kumar is the man for the job. (File picture)   -  Prashant Nakwe

On the third day of Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy fixture against Maharashtra here, the host found itself in a spot of bother. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Naushad Shaikh did exceptionally well to add 106 runs for the seventh wicket and were on course to bat Karnataka out of the match.

Desperate to break the partnership, Karnataka turned to skipper Vinay Kumar. He did not disappoint, castling the in-form Gaikwad with a sharp, unplayable inswinger. The crucial wicket set up Karnataka’s first victory in this Ranji Trophy season.

READ| Padikkal, Nischal star as Karnataka grabs outright win

In many ways, Gaikwad’s dismissal epitomised what Vinay has brought to the table in his 14-year career. When the going gets tough, Vinay is the man for the job.

“I love to take up the challenge when the team faces a difficult situation,” Vinay said on Saturday.

When he scalped Gaikwad, Vinay took his first-class wickets tally to 450. “Two years back, I took 400 wickets, and now I have 450. It’s a really proud moment. But more than personal milestones, I get more satisfaction from getting breakthroughs when the team needs it the most," Vinay said.

The 34-year-old praised debutant Devdutt Padikkal, who made a fine 77 in the second innings. “Frankly, I’d only heard that Devdutt is a very good talent, but I hadn't seen much of him before this game. When I saw him bat, his maturity and shot selection stood out. He didn’t look like an 18-year-old. If he can perform like this consistently, he can make it big,” Vinay said.

Vinay added that A. Mithun, who injured his ankle during this match, should be fit and available for Karnataka’s next outing.