Home > Features > Interviews >

R Vinay Kumar credits teamwork for Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy 2013-14 victory

Vinay Kumar © PTI
R Vinay Kumar said Karnataka was confident of doing well before the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season started © PTI

Victorious Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar tells G Krishnan how thrilled he is to join the elite skippers from the state to lift the Ranji Trophy.

Excerpts:

What contributed to Karnataka winning Ranji Trophy after 15 years?

Everyone understood their role. There were many good individual performances. It was an overall team effort. We were not dependent on any one individual. Robin Uthappa, Lokesh Rahul, Amit Verma, Ganesh Satish, Manish Pandey all scored consistently. Karun Nair’s three back-to-back centuries, Shreyas Gopal taking wickets were all crucial for us, [Abhimanyu] Mithun and myself bowling in tandem and picking up wickets. Even in the final, all the players performed. That was the biggest plus for us. Also, everyone is eager to play for India.  When you have such a goal in front of you, the performances will take care of itself if you have the right frame of mind and give your best. That was our biggest advantage. Our bench strength was amazing, too. Whoever got opportunities performed and pushed the seniors to do well. This was missing in the last few years. There were performances here and there but this year there were many big performances. Consistency was the key.

With everyone performing, was your role as captain made easy?

As captain, my theory is simple. When I have the ball in hand, I am just a bowler. When I am not bowling, I am the captain. I know each and every person in the team, their strengths and weaknesses. We have been playing together for the last four-five years as the same core group. That made my work easier.

What does it mean to have led Karnataka to title win?

I am very happy. I have enjoyed captaincy from my Davanagere days, to leading Tumkur Zone, Kuvempu University, leading in Vizzy Trophy, the Challengers, Duleep Trophy and the Karnataka state. I just keep it simple and try to get the best out of the players. Leading Karnataka means a lot. To join the elite list of captains like Erapalli Prasanna sir, Brijesh Patel sir, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Joshi, who have contributed so much to Indian and Karnataka cricket, it feels great, hailing from Davanagere and leading a big side as Karnataka.

When did your team believe that it could win Ranji this season?

We started believing before the season began. Our performances in the pre-season tournaments like Safi Darashah and Moin-ud-Dowla were very good. We believed we had the team to win. We had those three back-to-back outright wins against Orissa, Haryana, Punjab in the league stage, the way we came back against Mumbai to win after conceding the first innings lead, our belief became stronger and stronger.

Who did you learn captaincy from?

When I started playing, it was not difficult for me to handle players. Playing under great captains like Rahul Dravid [for Karnataka], Mahendra Singh Dhoni [for India] and other good leaders for Karnataka, India ‘A’, Indian Premier League (IPL) sides, I’ve observed each captain and what went into their thinking. These things have helped.

As a medium-pacer, are you satisfied with pitches in the country?

They are fine. You need to bowl on any kind of wicket. Pitches are batsman friendly but that is okay.

Next season, defending the Ranji title will not be easy. How will you address the situation?

I don’t dwell too much in what happened. It was a great feeling when we stepped out of the Bangalore airport [on Monday], when we entered the Chinnaswamy Stadium, to receive the people’s warmth and love for winning Ranji Trophy. It will be for a day or two. We need to start from zero next season. The focus is now on winning the Irani Cup. As defending champions, my biggest challenge will be to keep the players focussed so that they will then give their best.

How tough is it for you to make a comeback to the Indian side?

According to my performances this season [29 wickets in Ranji season], I am confident of a comeback. I also touched the 300-wicket mark in First-Class during the Ranji final. There are many positives for me to stage a return to Indian team. But it is the selectors call. I am not going to think much about it. I will have to perform every time.

(G Krishnan qualified as an umpire from Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in 1997 before making sports journalism as a career. His other interests include wildlife and reading. Krishnan is Principal Correspondent of DNA, where the article first appeared)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Live Updates: IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal hearing in Supreme Court: BCCI is killing the game, says Supreme Court

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Michael Clarke denies retirement plans; hopes to be fit in time for 1st Test against India

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide, Day 2

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide, Day 2

Daniel Vettori set to make Test comeback in Pakistan vs New Zealand 3rd Test at Sharjah

India Women vs South Africa Women 2014: Chloe Tryon’s half-century earns Proteas two-wicket win in 1st ODI

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can India afford such a rigorous tour just ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Chandu Patankar: A gloveman lost amidst Bombay stalwarts

Cheteshwar Pujara faces crucial series in Australia following England nightmare

The first match at the Melbourne Cricket Club

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: N Srinivasan increasingly cornered by Supreme Court’s observations

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here