Rajneesh Gurbani was in tears when he saw coach Chandrakant Pandit’s reaction

Rajneesh Gurbani’s match-winning seven-wicket haul helped Vidarbha beat Karnataka by five runs in a thrilling match and guide them to the final of the Ranji Trophy.

cricket Updated: Dec 21, 2017 22:20 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kolkata
Rajneesh Gurbani,Chandrakant Pandit,Ranji Trophy
Rajneesh Gurbani starred for Vidarbha, taking them to the final of the Ranji Trophy for the first time.(Circle of Cricket/Twitter)

Chandrakant Pandit in domestic circles is known to be the “khadoos” Mumbaikar, who is not ready to bare his emotions but Rajneesh Gurbani’s eyes welled up when he saw the ecstatic Vidarbha coach after they beat Karnataka to reach maiden Ranji Trophy final.

Gurbani’s match-winning seven-wicket haul helped Vidarbha beat Karnataka by five runs in a thrilling semi-final.

READ | Ranji Trophy: Rajneesh Gurbani’s 7/68 at Eden helps Vidarbha reach maiden final

Personally for former India stumper Pandit, it was also a statement to Mumbai Cricket Association, which removed him from coach’s post despite the team reaching finals last year.

“I got quite emotional after getting the final wicket and saw Chandu sir’s (Pandit’s nickname) reaction tears came into my eyes. We have been following the same routine from the first match we played in the league stage against Punjab till today,” Gurbani, who had a match haul of 12 wickets said.

There was performance anxiety throughout the night before the final day as he could barely sleep.

“I was quite nervous all throughout the night, first woke up at 12:30 thought it was 6 am,again i woke up at 4:30 couldnt sleep any more got up at 5 am and got ready within 6. We were determined to reach the finals this year after having lost in the quarter-finals twice,” said Gurbani.

Gurbani is among the fresh crop of cricketers, who are again paying attention to the academics -- something that had become a thing of past during the last decade.

Gurbani is a qualified civil engineer, who passed with 68 percent marks in his BE exams. He only played his first List A game after completing his final semester where he scored 80 percent marks.

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Gurbani’s father a railway engineer never allowed him to skip any semesters.

There were two specific phases when Karnataka had partnerships going and he admitted that he was getting restless.

“When I went to the ground, coach sir motivated me and calmed my nerves somewhat. On the field, when wickets were not coming, I was feeling a bit restless and then my captain, senior teammates and Chandu sir told me to calm down.”

When around 14 runs were left, Gurbani thought rather than worrying he will now wait for batsmen to make mistakes.

“Since wicket was not falling, I decided not to worry and left it to the batsmen to make a mistake.”

He overshadowed his illustrious new ball partner Umesh Yadav and said that it was dream come true to open the bowling with the India international.

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“The presence of Umesh Yadav was a big help for me and it was my dream to open the bowling with Umesh bhaiya. From one end, he was bowling fast and watching him bowl, I was feeling very relaxed. Umesh Yadav is my idol and he is my favourite fast bowler,” he said.

Gurbani also credited Subroto Banerjee for his success.

“Subroto sir helped me a lot in improving my bowling and skills. They worked very hard to make me bowl well. I still need to improve a lot on my bowling action and fitness.”

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 18:39 IST