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Karun Nair proud of ‘amazing’ Mayank Agarwal after Vijay Hazare Trophy victory

While other batsmen, including skipper Karun Nair, found the going tough in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, it was Mayank Agarwal’s 90 that guided Karnataka cricket team to a clinical win over Saurashtra.

cricket Updated: Feb 27, 2018 19:20 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vijay Hazare Trophy,Mayank Agarwal,Karun Nair
Mayank Agarwal has been in good form for Karun Nair-led Karnataka cricket team and has 2,141 runs across formats in the 2017-18 domestic season (including Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy), and he’ll look to add on to that with the Deodar Trophy and the Irani Cup still to go.(Twitter)

Skipper Karun Nair said Mayank Agarwal’s consistent performances made the difference in Karnataka cricket team’s third Vijay Hazare Trophy win in five seasons.

While other batsmen found the going tough in the final at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, it was Agarwal’s 90 that guided Karnataka to a clinical win over Saurashtra.

“He (Agarwal) has been amazing,” Karun Nair told journalists.

“But I would say it was a complete team effort. If you have to win tournament, you need everyone to perform to the best of their ability. Of course, Mayank did the bulk of the scoring but other guys like Pavan Deshpande, Samarth did exceptionally well,” he added.

“I’m very much satisfied with the team’s performance. We were really eager to win it. Throughout the 2017-18 season, we did really well. It’s just that we reached the important stages but couldn’t capitalize. But I know that we have the team to win all three formats every year,” said Karun.

Asked what was going through his mind when Karnataka lost four quick wickets to collapse to 253, Karun said: “Any total in a final is defendable because there’s always pressure batting second. I’ll say that we were 20-30 runs short but still it (253) was a challenging total. We were confident of putting pressure on Saurashtra.”

‘All about belief’

So far, Agarwal has 2,141 runs across formats in the 2017-18 domestic season and he’ll look to add on to that with the Deodar Trophy and the Irani Cup still to go.

When asked what was the one thing that kept him going, Agarwal said: “Throughout the tournament, I’ve doing the same things. It was just the belief factor. Also, the team management and selectors supported me. It felt good. It was all about being in the zone I was in.”

Asked if he’s disappointed for not being selected in the Indian team for the tri-series in Sri Lanka, he said: “To be really honest, my focus was totally on what is in my control. Playing the final was today the focus for us.

“I have been batting well. I just want to continue my good form.”

Aravind retires

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s Sreenath Aravind announced his retirement from first-class cricket, stating that he felt the need to make way for youngsters.

Aravind made his debut in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal of the 2008-09 season at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and went on to play 56 first class games.

He played one T20 international, at Dharamsala, and conceded 44 runs for a solitary wicket against South Africa.

“I started my career in 2008, playing the Ranji Trophy against Saurashtra. I started against them and am ending on a good note with the Vijay Hazare [title],” he said. “I appreciate and thank the KSCA, selectors, my coaches, my parents, god and my friends whoever appreciated and supported me, I thank them all.

“Youngsters are coming up and are in and out. I have just made way so that they can create a career for themselves. They are marching into a good side. I had decided yesterday night. It was a very tough decision. I could continue for another two-three years, that was my fitness level. I just wanted to give a good chance for the youngsters who are upcoming,” said Aravind.

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 19:19 IST