Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat on Sunday dedicated the teams Ranji Trophy triumph to India veteran Cheteshwar Pujara and called him one of the regions favourite sons. Pujara hit the winning run against Australia in his milestone 100th Test in Delhi.
“Like Id said before its a fitting tribute to one of Saurashtras favourite sons, Chintu (Pujaras nickname). He played his 100th Test for India against Australia in Delhi, but he was equally eager, wishing us all throughout,” Unadkat said. Pujara is the 13th Indian cricketer to play 100 Tests or more. He made his debut in 2010 and has scored over 7000 runs in his 13-year-long Test career. On the latest triumph, Unadkat, who led the team to three premier domestic titles across formats in as many years, said “this decade and era belongs” to Saurashtra.
Saurashtra defeated Bengal by nine wickets in a replay of the 2020 final to win the Ranji Trophy for the second time. This was also their second title this season, having stamped their authority in the one-day format by claiming the Vijay Hazare Trophy in December.
“It was important to win this one to prove the dominance and to show everyone that this era, the decade belongs to Saurashtra,” Unadkat told reporters after their triumph.
“Three trophies in three years proves that we have been doing a lot of things right. We have set a tone, Im really proud what this team has achieved.” The 31-year-old, who made a dream Test comeback after 12 years in Bangladesh last year, was busy with Indias series against Australia. But Unadkat was “granted” permission to play the Ranji final.
“At the moment, I feel that my body is in a good shape. The ball is coming out nicely off the hand. Im able to bowl long spells which is crucial.” Want to create a legacy for Saurashtra ======================== Asked about his goal, he said: “Its not just about winning trophies, but creating a legacy for our team which will leave a bigger impact on cricket in the region.
“Our goal will be to carry forward this legacy for at least 3-4 years till the core of our team is intact.” Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji title three years back on the basis of a first-innings lead over Bengal on their home turf of Rajkot. “A lot of guys said the wickets suited us better, but that wasnt the case.
“All the credit to the guys for showing such dominance in a crucial game like the final. Its not easy. Theres always pressure on everyone to win the final.” With their pace-heavy attack on an Eden greentop, it was the home side that started as favourites. No team could surpass 350 against Bengal this season but, in the summit clash, Saurashtra got past the 400-mark as the Bengal pacers failed to make use of a lively pitch.
Bengals batters, too, were a big letdown as their first-innings ended at 174 after Unadkat won a good toss.
“With all talks about bowling lineup that they have not given more than 348 in the tournament, its a great statement (by our batters) to achieve that in a game like final.
“We bowled in the right areas to start with, better than their bowlers a lot of times. Batters showed more composure and resilience. we won a lot more sessions than them, thats why we came out on top.” Unadkat further said Bengal were under pressure and the visitors handled the situation more calmly.
“There was more calmness in our dressing room. They wanted to win it very eagerly, as it was at Eden. It happened to us as well while playing in Rajkot.
“So the calmness and composure was the difference both in batting and bowling. We had that little bit of five per cent advantage,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)