This is the third time Saurashtra has made it to the finals of Ranji trophy in last seven years. The conviction with which the team has fared through the season 18-19 is commendable.
With 28 points at the end of league phase, the table reflected exactly how team has dominated from the game one. With three outright wins in Group-A and that too against the formidable teams like Karnataka, Railways and Maharashtra ensured early qualification to the knock-out stage for team Saurashtra. The success of the team has lot to do with its preparation and efforts put in by the players as well as Team Officials over last few months. Head Coach Sitanshu Kotak has seen it all and knows how it happens.
The spinner – Dharmendrasinh Jadeja has been phenomenal and has captured 50+ wickets in this season, including hat-trick. He was equally useful with the bat too. The young Harvik Desai, Under 19 World Cup Sensation played some exceptional innings. His remarkable Ton in the Quarter Final against UP made his team to reach Semi Final. Debutant Vishvarajsinh Jadeja also played some very important knocks, including the ton. Jaydev shah before retiring played a pivotal role in developing this team in last decade or so. Even in his last innings against KSCA he scored the match winning 98. His knocks against Baroda as well as Gujarat were remarkable. Young Pacer Chetan Sakariya looks to be a very promising fast bowler and these are very encouraging signs for the future of Saurashtra cricket. Snell Patel has not only batted well but has also kept wickets very well. The important thing here is that all the players have understood their role and tried their best to perform it to the best of their ability. The turner Kamlesh Makwana also played sensational role with ball as well as bat. This has been exceptional Teamwork, exceptional Team performance and exceptional individual performances. As always, Ravindra Jadeja too added glory to team performance with his match winning performance. The team has been well selected, well balanced. And very well supported and guided by Team Officials.
The team picked itself up and higher in quarter final against UPCA. The collective effort of the team showed "we can do it". With the Wall Cheteshwar Pujara back in the team, it brings assurance to the dressing room. The peace he exhibited during the tricky chase in semi final was special and so was his partnership with Awesome Sheldon Jackson. Their remarkable 4th wicket partnership brought their team back in the game when team was struggling at 23 for 3, chasing 279 to win. Both of their tons shall remain memorable forever.
After Jaydev Shah bid adieu in league match against Karnataka, Jaydev Unadkat continued the team with lots of positivity, confidence and charisma. He looks so determined that he wants nothing in this life at this stage but the beautiful Ranji Trophy. He encourages his team with his brilliant performances and positive attitude.
We all will eagerly be waiting for that moment. All the best Team Saurashtra.... Let's bring the title back to where it actually belongs... The birth place of Legendry Ranjitsinhji...
By PRAKASH BHATT
Former Captain and Player of Saurashtra Ranji Team