Joshi relying on his expereince


The 39-year-old has a most enviable record – Karnataka have won all three finals in which he has figured – and Joshi is confident it will be no different the fourth time either.
“This team is a special team,” said one of only two men in this 15-man squad – B Akhil is the other -- who has had a taste of Ranji finals. “In terms of batting, bowling and fielding, we have been at our best throughout the season. Some might say our catching has been less than perfect, but that happens to every side from time to time.

“Just looking around me in the dressing room, there is a feeling of quiet confidence. I can sense the hunger in the boys, but there are no signs of nerves, no anxiety or uneasiness. It’s a very young side, but as everyone has seen this season, it has got immense potential. Now, it’s a question of converting that potential into one final victory.”
Joshi said for a first-class cricketer, very little topped being part of a title-winning team. “It’s a great feeling to be in the final, but you can’t afford to be satisfied simply because you have got here,” he observed. “You have to experience winning the title to know what it means. I have spoken to the boys about it, I can see that they are very excited.”
Joshi was part of the 1995-96 and ’97-98 triumphant outfits, and was the skipper when Karnataka defeated Madhya Pradesh in the ’98-99 final at the Chinnaswamy stadium. “I felt on top of the world when I held the trophy aloft. It was a dream come true,” he said, then reflected on his first final.

“It was against Tamil Nadu in Chennai. We had a quality side and personally, I was coming off a very good season – more than 50 wickets by then, and upwards of 450 runs. My half-century in the final completed the 500-50 double, but what was more satisfying was that we defeated Tamil Nadu in their own backyard.
“There were some nerves, as there inevitably will be going into any match, but once play begins, it is still the same 22 yards, the same game of bat and ball. That’s something else I have spoken to the team about,” added the senior statesman. “Let’s continue to do what we have done this season, not change anything, because what has worked so well for us so far will work in the final as well.”

Joshi was quick to transfer the psychological pressure on to Mumbai by saying the defending champions will feel the pressure more than Karnataka. “They have won 38 times, in some ways they are expected to win,” he pointed out. “But if you look at this season’s form, we have by far been the best team in the country. Mumbai are yet to face their best opposition this year. Maybe we are too, but I confident we can overcome their challenge.”

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