Decided to let the batsmen make the mistake: Gurbani

Decided to let the batsmen make the mistake: Gurbani

Rajneesh Gurbani was an unknown name when this edition of the Ranji Trophy began. Into his second season, the right-arm medium pacer has been the driving force behind Vidarbha's splendid run.

He was the architect of Vidarbha's come-from-behind victory over Kerala in the quarterfinal. In his next assignment, against a strong Karnataka batting line-up, Gurbani delivered his career best performance.

The 24-year-old followed up his five-wicket haul in the first innings with a 7/68 in the second. He is currently seventh in the list of highest wicket-takers with 31 scalps. Not just skill, Gurbani also exhibited great character in pressure situations. Seconds after dismissing Karnataka's last batsman S Arvind that sealed a thriller in Vidarbha's favour, Gurbani broke into tears.

"After we won, I saw Pandit sir (coach Chandrakant Pandit) become emotional and pump his fists. I broke down seeing him get emotional," said Gurbani.

Gurbani said it was a challenging experience to stay focused during tense moments. The youngster admitted that he found it hard to control his nerves as the big match progressed towards a thrilling finish. "I found it tough to sleep last night. I woke up twice and finally I was the first one to be ready in the morning. I was restless to get on to the field. When we came to the stadium, Chandrakant Pandit sir gave us a motivational talk. But negative thoughts started setting when Karnataka began scoring runs. When it came down to just under 15 required, I decided to let the batsmen make the mistake and not try anything different. It worked," he said.

Ganesh's inputs

Ganesh Satish, the former Karnataka batsman, initiated Vidarbha's fight back with a crucial 81 in the second innings. The right-handed batsman said he shared inputs about his ex-team-mates with his team. "I have known these players from Karnataka for more than a decade now. I have faced their bowlers in the 'nets' and in the KSCA league games. So I spoke to my team-mates about how their bowling plan will be," he said.

Ganesh was the part of the Karnataka Ranji title-winning side in 2013. He asserted that his focus lies on helping Vidarbha clinch their maiden trophy. "This is my fourth season with Vidarbha. Being the third match against Karnataka, the feeling of nostalgia is no longer there. It doesn't matter if I score big against Karnataka or any other side. I just want to win games for Vidarbha irrespective of which team I play against," he offered.

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