Vidarbha had specific plans to counter Cheteshwar Pujara, says captain Faiz Fazal

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Vidarbha won their second Ranji Trophy title beating Saurashtra at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur. One of the biggest reasons for Vidarbha’s success was the failure of Saurashtra’s star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who only made scores of 1 and 0 in the two innings.

Pujara had earlier scored a brilliant century against Karnataka in the semi-finals to lead Saurashtra in the finals, but his failure to score significantly hurt Saurashtra badly. Now Vidarbha skipper Faiz Fazal in an interview with Times of India has revealed that the team management had made tactical and strategic plans to counter the Pujara threat.

In the interview, Fazal said, “We had plans for each Saurashtra player. The way they played in the Ranji Trophy this year, it was tremendous. The way Saurashtra entered the final of the tournament after beating Karnataka was incredible. And the credit goes to Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson. Saurashtra is tough opponents. We were prepared against them, both strategically and tactically.”

“We had planned certain field settings for Pujara, to not give him easy runs and the rest you know, how it helped us,” Fazal said. Pujara fell to Aditya Sarwate in both innings.

Vidarbha won their second successive Ranji Trophy title with a comfortable 78-run win over Saurashtra in the final, becoming just the sixth team in the history of the tournament to win back-to-back titles.

(TOI inputs)