Camaraderie between players has been the driving force behind Karnataka’s success, felt skipper Manish Pandey who led the team to fourth Vijay Hazare Trophy here in front of hundreds of vociferous supporters.
After restricting Tamil Nadu to 252 all out in the final, Karnataka were 146/1 in 23 overs when the match was abandoned due to sharp showers. The par score at that stage being 86/1, Karnataka were declared winners by 60 runs via VJD method.
“Everybody put in hard work towards this championship,” said Pandey in his post-match comments. “Everybody had a goal in mind. When you see young guys like Devdutt (Padikkal), coming in and scoring the most number of runs in the tournament, feels awesome for me as a captain. Then we got the support of the senior guys, who are looking to do well for Karnataka all the time. This is what makes us a good team and whoever comes in wants to perform, be it bowlers or batsmen. That camaraderie that we have, it's amazing, and glad to have a team like this,” he remarked.
Pandey further went on to shower praise on young opener Padikkal who finished with 609 runs, the most by any batsman in the tournament.
“What changed him (Padikkal) as a batsman is definitely the Hyderabad game, the one we lost,” he pointed out. “Because he was batting well till then but he was only getting fifties. I think the mindset he changed was to bat till the end and get those big hundreds for us. I think that's what has happened. That one game against Hyderabad hit him quite a bit because he was only batsman to bat till the end. If he had batted through, we would have won. It was a learning game for him. I'm glad he overcame that and batted the way he batted the whole tournament. I think he is a great asset we have up the order and I'm very happy with his performances.”
Hat-trick hero A Mithun, who bagged man of the match for his List A best figures of 5/34, said as the senior most member of the attack his responsibility has increased.
“I didn't know I took a hat-trick,” the pacer began. “Before the start of the match I knew I had to give my best. Because it's the final and from a young age we've played together so obviously I had to give (my best) and Prasidh (Krishna) wasn't there. As a senior, I had to take the responsibility to start well for the team. I think the hard work paid off.”