Chandrakant Pandit emotional after leading MP to Ranji Trophy win: I owed it to Madhya Pradesh

Chandrakant Pandit emotional after leading MP to Ranji Trophy win: I owed it to Madhya Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh defeated Mumbai by 6 wickets
  • It is MP’s first-ever Ranji Trophy title
  • It is also Chandrakant Pandit’s sixth Ranji title as a coach

Chandrakant Pandit-managed Madhya Pradesh defeated Mumbai by six wickets on Sunday to claim their maiden Ranji Trophy title.

Mumbai set a mere target of 108 after getting bowled out for 269 on the final day at Chinnaswamy Stadium. MP's in-form batsman Rajat Patidar remained unbeaten on 30 off 37 balls and he also hit the winning runs. The victory is even more special for MP as they defeated the Indian domestic circuit's giants Mumbai, who have won the title a record 41 times.

It was an emotional moment for Chandrakant as he had lost the Ranji Trophy final as MP's captain in the 1998-19 season. Coincidentally, the final had taken place at Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium. It was a sweet way to finally have hands on the coveted trophy with MP for the veteran coach.

"It is a great memory that I had left 23 years back and it is a blessing that I come back here, and winning this trophy was fabulous. It is emotional because I missed out as captain on the same ground," Chandrakant said after MP's victory on Sunday.

It was Chandrakant's third Ranji Trophy victory in the last four years. He had guided Vidarbha to back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles in 2018 and 2019.

On being asked how he picks his projects, Chandrakant said," It is not a particular reason but I look for a challenging job where the teams are not doing well, there also should be youngsters and to develop that particular state. I used to play for MP and played for them for six years, I knew the culture and the offer which came to me in March, and 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."

I had full confidence in Aditya, says Chandrakant

Chandrakant, who has also played for Assam and Mumbai during his playing days, went on to heap praise on MP captain Aditya Shrivastava. The middle-order batsman had a tough run with the bat in the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy season. He scored just 215 runs in six games at an average of 26.87.

Backing his captain, Chandrakant said," Aditya has been an outstanding captain, the plans and strategies we discuss, he was not afraid to implement them on the field. The captain makes the team win 50 percent of the time and he did a fantastic job even though he wasn't getting runs. I always had confidence in him."

Overall Chandrakant has won six Ranji Trophy titles as a coach. When asked which title would be at the top of his list, the Mumbai-born replied, "For the time being, it is on the top of the pile. I owed a trophy to MP, which I missed out [in 1998-99]. I would like to thank all the well wishers, the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and Madhavrao Scindia."

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