Chandrakant Pandit lifted by players    PTI
Chandrakant Pandit lifted by players PTI

Vidarbha team won their maiden Ranji title surprising everyone. They weren t the favorites before the Ranji season started but they topped the Group D winning 4 matches. It was the first time Vidarbha had qualified even for the Ranji Trophy final. Vidarbha had several key performers the season. Captain Faiz Fazal led from front on many occasions. Ranji Trophy legend Wasim Jaffer took responsibility when needed. Rajneesh Gurbani played a major role in the knockout matches. There were many others who played important knocks when needed.

Chandrakant Pandit won his fifth Ranji title as coach (in addition to winning it twice as coach) and the first one for Vidarbha. Pandit explained that the players were talented but lacked in facing tough situations. He pointed out that they had started self believing which turned out to be the major change.

They started learning and believing

May be the culture we have seen in the history of Vidarbha cricket. They have qualified for the knockouts but could not take further steps. I feel that the mindset and believe in them, I felt was more important when I joined them. I always felt that every individual player has talent. But probably they have not been tested in the tough situations. This is where they started learning and believing. So that was the major change. Young players who played with senior and they wanted to win. Probably the self was not there earlier, Pandit said.

Pandit had coached Mumbai last year but was asked to leave. He then joined Vidarbha, leading them to maiden Ranji trophy title.

It never gets easier because it is a prestigious tournament that we always look forward to. Every player, every team wants to hold that cup. So, naturally the pressure is always there. Anybody cannot say it is easy because once you may be taste that but you need to taste more, he said.

Vidarbha won the finals by 9 wickets inside four days. Vidarbha had the advantage of first-innings lead (252). They then bowled out Delhi for 280. Pandit said that they fulfilled the needs that the game demanded for and did not have any special preparations for the game.

There was nothing extraordinary

There was nothing extraordinary but we prepared what the game demands and that is what we were trying to follow. We did a lot of match stimulations, to come into match situations and handle them in the match coming in the season. We gave them the responsibility to handle the challenge. We worked on the skills as well. They were given the tasks and that had to be fulfilled which was out basic aim, he said.