Veteran Joshi joins 450-club

With the pace trio of R Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and S Arvind doing bulk of the wicket-taking job, the reliability on Joshi might have come down a bit but the left-arm spinner’s utility hasn’t diminished as far as lending balance to the attack is concerned. “Even if he isn’t taking many wickets, he is someone who keeps one end tight which helps you to rotate the pacemen in short bursts, keeping them fresh,” Dravid noted only the other day.

This is exactly what happened in Mohali, where he took just one wicket but maintained a tight leash to sustain the pressure exerted by fast bowlers. On Thursday at Rohtak where the famed pace triumverate couldn’t make much headway against Haryana, Joshi scalped two wickets to keep Karnataka in the game.

In the process the veteran bowler became only the third bowler in the country to have taken 450 wickets in 111 Ranji Trophy matches. Rajinder Goel tops the list with 637 followed by S Venkatraghavan (530).

 “One fine day I’ll have to go,” said Joshi when asked what keeps him going. “I’m not going to be playing forever. The day I’m convinced that someone has come to the fore, I will step away,” he added.

His batting has taken the backseat in the last few years but the left-hander is just 35 runs short of completing 4000 runs in Ranji. “That would be a nice double to have. But I hope I don’t reach that mark any sooner which means our speaiclist batsmen will be doing a fantastic job,” he remarked in half-jest. 

Training, Joshi pointed out, is key to his longevity. “It has become a part of my life. At the end of the day it all boils down to fitness. The reason I’m still around is because of my fitness. And if you play the game for as long as I have, you are bound to cross these mile-stones. We don’t play to have these records, they are just incidental.

“But saying that it does give you a some satisfaction at the end of the day. Besides I am still enjoying my game. We have a good bunch of youngsters in the side and I’ve a specific role to play,” he noted.

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