Ranji Trophy: After rocky start, J&K head into knockouts
Written by Shamik Chakrabarty
| Kolkata |

Updated: February 16, 2020 8:48:41 am

Ranji Trophy: After rocky start, J&K head into knockouts Parvez Rasool ended the group stage with 403 runs and 25 wickets. (File)

In early August final 12 months, with the Jammu & Kashmir cricket staff’s pre-season camp gathering momentum, Irfan Pathan, the staff mentor, needed to go away as a result of a political upheaval was on the playing cards. On August 5, 2019, the Government of India revoked Article 370 and curfew had been imposed within the valley. Cricket turned completely peripheral and no person exterior the J&Ok staff and its cricket administration had been involved a couple of pre-season going disarray.

Six months down the road, J&Ok are within the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, braving the chances and displaying consistency that noticed them win six matches outright in Elite, Group C. They misplaced their remaining group league fixture towards Haryana by two wickets on Saturday, however the staff had already secured a spot within the knockouts — after six seasons — with 39 factors. J&Ok will play towards Karnataka within the quarterfinals.

It has been a captivating story, given the political uncertainty again house. The gamers confirmed character, but it surely wasn’t simple. “When (it happened), we couldn’t communicate with the boys. For 25 days, we didn’t have any practice. I was there for two weeks and then I had to leave. And when the squad assembled again, their (players) mindset wasn’t up to the mark, their body wasn’t up to the mark and I knew that I needed to get them a little bit of time to prepare,” Pathan instructed The Sunday Express.

It was his resolution to take the staff to Baroda for a camp, the place the main target was on having one-on-one periods with the gamers. “What I, and also coach Milap (Mewada), told them during those sessions will always remain between us, but it was important to have those sessions in terms of mental preparation. I always believe that the majority of cricket is played mentally. If you are mentally OK, your feet will move. So many things were happening in the media and our job was to help the players focus on doing the right thing, playing good cricket. Credit to the boys that they played very good cricket and I’m proud of them,” Pathan stated.

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J&Ok’s upsurge, nevertheless, hasn’t occurred in a single day. A course of that began a few seasons in the past, when Pathan took cost, is step by step coming to fruition. The staff mentor spoke about placing emphasis on altering the staff tradition.

“The largest problem was that we would have liked to play as a unit. In a area like J&Ok that has so many districts (22), and the variety and historical past, we would have liked to have the fitting stability of creating the staff come collectively. That was our intention. That was my focus, captain Parvez Rasool’s focus and your entire staff’s focus. This staff has no senior, junior. Everybody is equal. In the previous, among the gamers had performed 40 video games with the common of 20, among the gamers had performed 50 video games with the common of 18 as a batsman. You can’t play cricket like that.

“We backed the players who are going to give everything to the team even if they are not performing. In the last two years, some of the guys got dropped from the XI for playing selfish cricket and we told them, ‘if you play selfish cricket you would be dropped, doesn’t matter if you score a half-century’. If a bowler was needed to bowl away from the stumps as per the match situation, he got the backing even if he didn’t pick wickets. It was important to make them understand that it’s a team game.”

Captain Parvez Rasool talks in regards to the constructive modifications that occurred just lately.

“The last two years, cricket was taken to all the districts. Also earlier, the whole set-up used to be unprofessional. Players used to assemble just 10-15 days before the start of the tournament and we were always under-prepared, going into competitive matches. This has changed over the past two years. We have had proper camps and right facilities now. Also, Irfan Pathan came and brought in his international experience,” Rasool instructed this paper.

Rasool ended the group stage with 403 runs and 25 wickets. “I’m trying my best to get back to the Indian team. Am working hard on improving my game.”

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Against Karnataka, J&Ok can be the underdogs. “We are going to play one of the strongest teams in domestic cricket. But if we can play good cricket for the entire duration of the game, I think we can beat any side. The boys now have belief,” Pathan stated.

Rasool is aiming even greater. “We will give a very tough fight to Karnataka. And definitely, if we can beat Karnataka, we can go the distance.”

Brief Scores: J&Ok 340 and 174 misplaced to Haryana 291 and 224/8 (R.P Sharma 75 not out) by two wickets.

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