Victorious Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar on Friday said besides his own bowling performances, batsmen Karun Nair and KL Rahul played a “special” role in his side’s title defence of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament this year.
“There was a special moment and it was bowling Mumbai out for 44 in the semifinals. Getting 6 for 20 in that match is something I will never forget. We have had many outstanding performances this season. As a captain, for me Rahul’s 337 and Karun Nair’s 328 were special,” Vinay Kumar said after Karnataka cricket team were accorded a rousing reception at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here following their arrival from Mumbai.
Karnataka’s batting coach Arun Kumar lauded the performances of his side’s lower middle-order, which according to him played a vital part in the triumph.
“One of the striking features has been the performance of the lower-middle order batsmen who scored runs at crucial junctures. The journey has been great and even the bowlers have got runs, Shreyas (Gopal), (Abhimanyu) Mithun and Vinay for example. The runs they made were important in getting big totals,” he said.
Kumar said it wasn’t easy for Karnataka to successfully retain the trophy.
“There wasn’t a match which I can pick as easy because all the teams were tough. We didn’t take any team lightly, just went out there and played to our strengths and didn’t think about the opponents,” he said.
“I am absolutely thrilled that we have retained the trophy. It has been a lot of hard work and sweat, but we, as a team have enjoyed the journey,” he added.
Senior batsman Robin Uthappa said the current Karnataka team has the potential to keep winning domestic tournaments for long.
“We did that with the Vijay Hazare Trophy and with the Ranji Trophy as well. We have it in us and we hope to keep winning domestic tournaments for long,” he said.
Karnataka comfortably defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai to retain the elite domestic title.