Hard work and unity did the trick: Vinay

Hard work and unity did the trick: Vinay

Team unity and hard work were the primary reasons behind Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy triumph, felt skipper R Vinay Kumar. Karnataka defeated Maharashtra by seven wickets on the final day here to win the title for the seventh time that had eluded them for the last 15 years. 

“The season has been amazing for us, right from the first game. We had a superb team, and we all believed that we could win the Ranji Trophy this season. We’ve been putting in so much effort in the nets, working towards team unity, enjoying each others’ success … it has all finally paid off,” noted Vinay. 

The right-arm paceman was delighted with the bench strength that Karnataka have. “It shows you the quality of the players on the bench,” he remarked when pointed out about almost all reinforcements performing well.

“In the initial games Ganesh Satish played at No 7 because the team needed him down the order. After that we blooded new guys, Karun Nair, R Samarth, Mayank Agarwal … who all delivered. 

“In the big games, Amit Verma came back and performed, as did Ganesh and Shreyas Gopal chipped in too… Everyone who got a chance performed. It’s a great sign for the team. That is the biggest reason for our victory. We did not depend on any one individual, everyone in the eleven who took the field did his part to contribute to the victory.”

For batting coach J Arunkumar it was a special feeling as he had won the Ranji Trophy as a player as well in 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. 

“It feels just the role is different,” said Arun after Robin Uthappa and KL Rahul had poured ice water on him in a celebratory mood. “It was earlier on the field, now it’s off the field contribution. The feeling is amazing. It still hasn't sunk in that we have won the Ranji Trophy. But yeah we could all sense it from the knockout stage. We all knew we had the belief to win. We believed that we could win it. I am really happy for the boys. It is well deserved, very good team to win it with,” he offered.

Arun spoke about the way he motivated Karnataka batsmen. “I was constantly talking to them on what their role is and what their expectations are. What they want from Ranji Trophy? Do they want to play for the country or are they happy making 500-600 runs? Nobody recognises you with 500 runs. 

“They recognise you when someone like KL Rahul makes a 1000 runs and that makes a difference. In the coming years, hopefully, it will become a habit. Hopefully, it will spread and we will see more guys get 1000 runs. If one guy gets it, the other guys believe that they can do it too,” he reasoned.

Arun was also happy the Karnataka State Cricket Association had arranged to fly in players who weren’t part of the final squad but had played at various stages of the tournament. “We wanted the whole team to be together, and KSCA management was kind enough to address that and send all the boys. So even Stuart came from New Zealand, last night at 11, he reached home at 1 am, and took the morning flight at six. So you can see all the boys are for each other. And it’s good to see they’re bonding with each other.”

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