Ranji Trophy: Pace trio makes it a season to remember for Hyderabad

M. Ravi Kiran (34 wickets at 20.67), C.V. Milind (35 wickets at 22.17) and Mohammed Siraj (41 wickets at 18.92) had a dream season as the troika had a combined tally of 110 wickets from Hyderabad’s nine games in the Ranji Trophy season.

“If I have to pick an individual contribution, it will undoubtedly be our three pacers. They have been the most consistent amongst all teams, right through the season,” S. Badrinath, the Hyderabad captain, had said ahead of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Mumbai.

As much as a staunch Hyderabad cricket supporter will remember this Ranji Trophy season for its entry into the knockouts, and thus earning an elevation to the top rung for the next, the team will also be cherished for its pace triumvirate’s heroics.

M. Ravi Kiran (34 wickets at 20.67), C.V. Milind (35 wickets at 22.17) and Mohammed Siraj (41 wickets at 18.92) had a dream season spread over nine games. The trio started off with a combined tally of 12 wickets in the season-opener against Goa in Nagpur and ended with a whopping 17-wicket return versus Mumbai here.

While Ravi Kiran has been a consistent performer for a while now, Milind and Siraj have staged a brilliant turnaround which has changed the perception of the fraternity towards them.

All three unequivocally credit coach B. Arun, the former bowling coach of Indian team, for helping them optimise their performance. When asked about the kind of magic wand he used on them, a smiling Arun said “There is no magic wand as such. It’s all about the bowlers realising their capabilities and we backing them. Sticking to a line and length is what we spoke about in our meetings and the three medium-pacers responded well. They worked hard on their game and that’s the secret of their success.”

Even Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit admitted that the Hyderabad pacers outdid their Mumbai counterparts. “They bowled extremely well. I heard that they have been bowling well throughout the season. I think they utilised the conditions well and that was the key to their success here,” he said. “We could have done the same, but apart from Abhishek Nayar, none of our pacers could utilise the pitch.”

If its batsmen had shown the artistry and attitude like the pacers, Hyderabad could well have boarded a flight to Rajkot rather than heading back to the City of Nizams.