Difficult to repeat last year's Ranji feat, says Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Rajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar said his team will take one step at a time and stick to routine preparations before they clash with Rest of India in the Irani Cup final on Saturday Getty Images

Jaipur: Sep 30, 2011

Rajasthan captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar admitted that it will be very difficult for his team to repeat last year’s performance when they went onto win the Ranji Trophy starting from the Plate League.

“To be realistic, it was an unbelievable performance and it would be hard to repeat it. We wish to take one step at a time and it is too early say anything. We have stuck to routine preparations and had a 16-17 day camp,” the veteran said.

Kanitkar admitted that it will be a big blow that Pankaj Singh has been ruled out due to knee injury.

“It is big blow to us that Pankaj Singh who was our main strike bowler has been sidelined because of his injured knee.

Aniket Choudhary is his replacement. We also have two ‘keepers in the side but we have preferred seasoned Rohit Jhalani who was part of the Ranji triumph last season,” said Kanitkar.

When asked whether there would be any pressure as seven players of the Rest of India team are also in the Indian team, he replied in negative.

“There would be pressure on them because they would be expected to perform,” he said.

Talking about Deepak Chahar who made a sensational debut last season Kanitkar said was he is fit to play.

“He has been learning a few tricks with experience. More you play, more you mature. He is keen to perform and we expect good show from him this year too,” he said.

Regarding the wicket, Kanitkar said that he expected it to be a sporting wicket.

“This time it has more grass on it. Last year, it turned out to be a run feast but I hope it is a sporting one this time. We did not have any say in it and the chairman of the BCCI pitch committee was here to supervise,” said Kanitkar. (PTI)