Madhya Pradesh coach Chandrakant Pandit was finding it hard to control his emotions after Aditya Shrivastava’s men ended their long wait for the Ranji Trophy title. Madhya Pradesh defeated heavyweights and 41-time champions Mumbai to win their first-ever title in the premier domestic tournament.
It was a memorable return to the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru for Chandrakant Pandit, who had lost the only other Ranji Trophy final Madhya Pradesh contested — 1988-89 — as captain to Karnataka. 23 years later, it was under Pandit’s watch that Madhya Pradesh clinched history.
“It was a great memory. I left it 23 years back on the same ground. With God’s blessings, we came back here and winning this trophy was fabulous. I am becoming a little emotional because I missed out when I was captain to win this trophy on the same ground. But after 23 years, some say ‘father could not do it but the son has done it’. Aditya Shrivastava has done tremendously well,” Chandrakant Pandit, the former India cricketer, told Star Sports on Sunday.
Having taken over the job of Madhya Pradesh’s coach in March 2020, Chandrakant Pandit moulded a winning side that went about its job with a lot of confidence and clarity in the ongoing season. After bowling out Mumbai for 374 in their first innings, Madhya Pradesh rode on three centurions Yash Dubey, Shubham Sharma, and Rajat Patidar to take a 161-run first-innings lead.
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Madhya Pradesh did not settle for a draw that could have given them a victory but Pandit’s boys went for the kill, clinching their first outright win over Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy history. Despite a fifty from Suved Parkar and a handy contribution from Sarfaraz Khan, Mumbai were bundled out for 269 in the second innings, thanks to a 4-wicket haul from Kumar Kartikeya.
MP had to chase only 108 runs in the final innings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and they got past the finish line with local favourite Patidar hitting the winning runs.
‘I DID NOT HESITATE’
Chandrakant Pandit re-established his credentials as one of the reputed coaches in the domestic circuit, having won 4 Ranji Trophy titles in the last 7 years. Incidentally, he had been the coach of Mumbai in 2015-16 when they won the trophy after which Pandit oversaw Vidarbha’s winning campaigns in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Pandit said he had received multiple offers before he took up the role at Madhya Pradesh and explained his rationale behind coaching a young side.
“There is no particular reason but I look for a challenging job where the teams are not doing well. There also should be youngsters to develop that particular state. I used to play for MP and played for them for six years,
“I knew the culture and when the offer came to me in March (2020), I did not hesitate. There were a couple of offers but I chose MP because I had left something 23 years back and God willingly brought me back to the same state. Sometimes the talent is there but you need to develop the culture and whatever the game demands, I try to inculcate them,” Pandit added.