Ranji Trophy: Needed to gradually hand over the captaincy to Manish, says Vinay Kumar

Manish Pandey takes over the reins from Vinay Kumar, who has led the state team across formats with distinction for eight years.

Vinay, who first captained Karnataka in February 2010 (against Goa, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy), has accepted the change of guard gracefully.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

When Manish Pandey steps onto the field against Chattishgarh at Alur grounds here on Sunday, it will mark the start of a new chapter in Karnataka cricket.

For Manish takes over the reins from Vinay Kumar, who has led the state team across formats with distinction for eight years.

Vinay, who first captained Karnataka in February 2010 (against Goa, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy), accepted the change gracefully.

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“At the start of the season, it was decided that I needed to gradually hand over the captaincy to Manish. So that’s why Manish has led the team whenever he has been available. Manish is a wonderful guy.

"He’s been doing very well for India ‘A’, and he will definitely do well for Karnataka as well. He’s a role model who will get the best out of the team,” Vinay said here on Saturday.

Asked about the highlight of his tenure, Vinay replied, “The back-to-back treble victories (2013-2015) is a great memory. Everybody knew their roles perfectly, and the coaches defined their roles perfectly too. We didn’t depend on individuals, as we had so many match-winners. I’ve been fortunate to lead so many special talents over the years.”

With several players like K.L. Rahul, Karun Nair, Pandey, K. Gowtham and others going in and out of the Karnataka team due to India and India ‘A’ selection, Vinay had to man a revolving door.

“When guys got picked for India or India 'A', it gave younger players a chance to enter first-class cricket. We tried to get the best out of these youngsters, by making them feel comfortable in the dressing room. In that way, the role of captain and coach was important,” he said.