Watch: Legendery coach Chandrakant Pandit sheds tears after MP beat Mumbai to win first-ever Ranji title
- As Rajat Patidar hit the winning runs for Madhya Pradesh, the cameras cut to an emotionalChandrakant Pandit, who stepped on the field with tears in his eyes and looked towards the sky. This was Pandit’s sixth Ranni Trophy title as a coach.
Legendary domestic coach Chandrakant Pandit added another feather to his illustrious cap, leading Madhya Pradesh to their first-ever Ranji Trophy victory on Sunday. Madhya Pradesh beat 41-time champions Mumbai by 6 wickets on Day 5 of the final at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. As Rajat Patidar hit the winning runs, the cameras cut to an emotional Pandit, who stepped on the field with tears in his eyes and looked towards the sky. This was Pandit’s sixth Ranni Trophy title as a coach. The former India wicketkeeper-batter, who had also represented Madhya Pradesh as a player, coached a side to their maiden first-class title for the second time. Previously, he was the head coach of Vidarbha when they won their maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2017/18.
Pandit revealed in an on-field interview with W.V. Raman why he had become so emotional after the winning runs. Pandit was captain of Madhya Pradesh the last time they reached the Ranji Trophy final in the 1998/99 season, when they lost to a Karnataka team, failing to chase 247 on a day 5 pitch at the Chinnaswamy.
Watch: Chandrakant Pandit sheds tears after MP win first-ever Ranji Trpphy title
Pandit said that it meant a lot to him to return to the same stadium where that failure had occurred under his watch, but this time he was able to set the record straight by ensuring that MP played better cricket. On the final day, Mumbai could only manage 269 in their second innings, leaving MP with a paltry target of 108, and they did it in style.
Pandit’s sides are renowned for playing their cricket with great discipline and effort, always going about their duties as resolute professionals. Such was the character of MP’s run to lifting the trophy, that at the end of the tournament, three of the five top run-getters were from their side — Rajat Patidar, Shubham Sharma, and Yash Dubey — as well as two of the five highest wicket-takers, Kumar Kartikeya and Gaurav Yadav.
After beating Punjab and Bengal in the knockout stages, MP had a tall task against 41-time champions Mumbai, but they got a crucial 162-run first innings lead thanks to centuries from three of their best batsmen of the tournament. Mumbai were aggressive in their response but weren’t able to get a sizeable lead to put MP under pressure in the fourth innings.