More makes merry at home

HAPPY DUO: Parents Gajanan More and Sarita More watched their son Ronit bag a crucial five-wicket haul for Karnataka against Mumbai in a Group A Ranji Trophy match in Belagavi on Thursday. DH PHOTO/Tajuddin Azad  ಪಂದ್ಯ ವೀಕ್ಷಿಸ

For the first two days, Karnataka paceman Ronit More’s parents endured both excitement and anxiety in equal measure as they learnt the inclusion of their son in Karnataka’s 11 at the last minute in a Group A Ranji Trophy fixture here against Mumbai.

The first two days were largely uneventful for Gajanan More and his wife Sarita as their son got out without scoring in Karnataka’s first innings and remained wicketless till the last minute of the second day’s play. His dismissal of Ashay Sardesai off what eventually became the last ball of the day was somewhat relieving and left them hoping for more. They probably didn’t anticipate such a rewarding third day.

More, who began the day’s proceedings conceding four fours in his first full over of the day, went onto pick four more sticks for his second five-wicket haul in Ranji Trophy, his first one coming way back in his debut 2012-13 season. The emotional Mores gave their son a standing ovation and the paceman duly acknowledged their gesture by waving at them even as his team-mates lined up to congratulate him.

“It was an amazing experience,” More said later. “Born in the same place and performing at the home ground feels great. Also, performing in front of my parents makes me feel good as they are also watching me play for the first time.”

The moment was no less gratifying either for the bowler who has spent several frustrating years waiting for occasional chances as R Vinay Kumar, A Mithun and S Arvind were regular fixtures and with a good reason too.

More made a sensational debut for Karnataka in 2012 in the South Zone Vijay Hazare Trophy by claiming a six-for against Goa. In the same season, he made his Ranji debut against Uttar Pradesh and picked up a five-for. He couldn’t have asked for a better start but things didn’t quite progress as they had promised. The opportunities were few and came far between.

Sensing he may not be able to replace the three quality pacemen, the Belagavi lad moved to Himachal Pradesh in 2015. He was, however, soon back into Karnataka fold, reclaiming his spot in the squad but a place in the 11 remained elusive. But for Vinay’s injury he wouldn’t have got this chance either but if anything, More has learnt to be patient. The time spent on the bench has only made him more determined and to be mentally ready to take his place even if he comes to know about it just before the toss.     

“This is not the first time, a couple of times before also it has happened,” said More who was sure he was playing only on the morning of the match. “There was 50 percent chance that I would play as the playing XI was not announced. On matchday, I came to know that I would be playing. (But) I will be ready until the toss. I will always have a mindset that I will be playing,” he offered.   

While More acknowledges it was difficult for him to get regular chances, he admits it has not been all that easy for him to deal with the situation.

“It has been difficult as three or four fast bowlers from the state have been playing for the past five-six years, so it was difficult to get into the playing XI,” he said. “(At the same time) I was not out of the 15 and was always waiting for my chance. This kind of competition is always good as it keeps me on my toes all the time to perform whenever I get a chance. Yes, it has been a roller coaster ride for me in the last five years. It has been up and down. I also went to play for Himachal.”

More rated only his second career five-wicket haul as a great feeling. “Yes, first five-wicket haul is always special, but this one… doing it in front of home crowd and parents, it feels great. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time in the last two years and good that it came in this game.”

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