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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Victorious Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal dreams of playing Test cricket soon

Faiz Fazal led Vidarbha to their maiden Ranji Trophy title in Indore on Monday.

cricket Updated: Jan 02, 2018 23:41 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, Indore
Faiz Fazal guided Vidarbha to their first Ranji Trophy title when they beat Delhi in the final in Indore on Monday.
Faiz Fazal guided Vidarbha to their first Ranji Trophy title when they beat Delhi in the final in Indore on Monday.(PTI)

Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal is optimistic of breaking into the India Test team after being one of the standout performers for his side in their maiden Ranji Trophy win at Indore’s Holkar stadium.

The left-handed batsman, who made his international (ODI) in 2016, scored 912 runs in nine games this season, finishing as the team’s highest run-getter and second highest overall, with five centuries and a half-century in the final.

First-time finalists Vidarbha defeated Delhi by nine wickets with a day to spare.

READ | Gautam Gambhir’s sweet message to Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha wins hearts

“Playing Test cricket is the ultimate thing,” Fazal told Hindustan Times.

“By God’s grace I’ve performed well this season. I’m really confident I’ll get a chance to play Test cricket soon and I’ll achieve my goal of getting the Test cap. But ultimately, that’s not in my hands. What’s in my control is the preparation, performance and the fitness part. I’ll be working hard to achieve my dreams.”


Fazal, 32, has played domestic cricket for 14 years and is the leading run-getter for Vidarbha in Ranji Trophy, with 5,161 runs in 71 games. He has hit 13 centuries and 26 half-centuries.

The only India opportunity the left-handed opener got was to play an ODI in Zimbabwe. He scored an unbeaten 55, but didn’t get another chance to play for the country.

Asked what has kept him going all these years, he said: “The game itself. When I wake up in the morning, I’m very confident I can work hard and go out on the field and perform.

READ | Ranji Trophy final: Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal thrilled with ‘biggest win’

“If you love the game, that itself is motivation; that’s what is keeping me alive and going. I’m really fortunate to play this game and soak in this pressure because I don’t think there are many people lucky to have this pressure.

“Representing the state team is an achievement. When we start playing, we want to win the Ranji Trophy and play for India.”

Asked what was going through his mind when Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana looked set score big in Delhi’s second innings, he said: “They (Shorey and Rana) were batting really well. They gave a few chances as well but we didn’t grab them. I was a little disappointed because we missed four catches (two each of Shorey and Rana). But still I was confident we could finish this game (on Day 4). The energy was there.”

Fazal praised youngsters, saying pacer Aditya Thakare and wicketkeeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar stepped up when needed the most.

READ | Wasim Jaffer says he doesn’t know anything other than cricket after Ranji Trophy win

“To be honest, after playing the semifinal (vs Karnataka), the pressure we sustained there was very big. We managed a win and that gave us a lot of confidence.

“When we came here, it was all about holding our nerve and winning crucial moments. As a unit, we managed to achieve that. Starting with debutant Thakare and Wadkar -- the way they handled pressure was really creditable. We all were playing our maiden final except Wasim bhai (Jaffer) and Ganesh Satish. We prepared really well and got the results.”

Asked which format he prefers, he said: “Test. There are no doubts about this. I simply love it.”

First Published: Jan 02, 2018 22:25 IST

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