By CricketCountry Staff
Mumbai: Nov 3, 2011
India batting star Rahul Dravid revealed that it was Ranji Trophy that helped him approach international cricket in a mature manner.
“Ranji has played a very significant role in my career! I’ve grown up playing the tournament; before I made my international debut, I played five years of first-class cricket.
“I experienced many highs and lows. When I played for India for the first time, I was very mature and was able to handle the pressure of international cricket in a better way. So I really value all the time I spent playing in the Ranji Trophy,” said Dravid.
Speaking of importance of Ranji Trophy in Indian cricket, Dravid said: “It is an extremely important tournament. High standards in the Ranji Trophy lead to the creation of a strong international team, hence it is very critical that the Ranji Trophy is played in a competitive manner, on good grounds and on good wickets. It has to be played with positivity and intent.”
The ‘Wall’ said that some of the youngsters coming through the ranks in the Karnataka team have shown lot of improvement and it’s time to build on their performance.
“We made some changes in the Karnataka team two-three seasons back and the results have shown. We’ve got a good bunch of youngsters coming through since the last couple of years. The boys have put up a very improved show since the last couple of years and now is the time to build on that.
“This season we’ll miss out on the services of Sunil Joshi, who’s had a long and successful career with us. This presents a new challenge ahead of the team and especially the youngsters. Hopefully, they’ll take the opportunity and put up a good show.”
Dravid was upbeat of Karnataka’s chance in the upcoming Ranji season.
“I think we have a very good chance. According to me, dealing with the absence of Joshi will be a critical factor. We have a good seam attack comprising the bowlers who have represented India and a young spinner [Syed Khaja Moinuddin]. We’ll have to see how the bowling does.
"We have a strong batting line-up with people like Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Ganesh Sathish, Amit Verma – all these are very good players. We’ve got a good balance in the team; now it’s just the question of producing the results."
Recalling his Ranji memories, Dravid stated, winning the trophy in 1995-96 season was his best moment.
“I think scoring the double hundred in the 1997-‘98 final and leading the team to the title triumph as a captain was very satisfying.
“Winning the Trophy in 1995-‘96 after beating Tamil Nadu (it was Karnataka’s first Ranji Trophy victory in 13 years) in the final was very special as well. There are many other happy memories that I have of the tournament,” Dravid concluded.