With his place in the playing XI at stake after disappointing performances in the last two matches for Mumbai, left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan made full use of the favourable conditions at the Brabourne Stadium yesterday.
Chavan registered his best figures in first-class cricket, claiming four for 61 as Bengal were bowled out for 201 in reply to Mumbai’s 297 in the first innings of the Group A Ranji Trophy match. Mumbai ended Day Two at six for no loss with an overall lead of 102 runs. For Bengal, Arindam Das, who made a comeback to the Ranji Trophy after a year’s gap, remained unbeaten on 98.
“I was quite disappointed with my performance in the last two matches. I wasn’t up to the mark. Competition in the Mumbai team is so fierce that another dull performance and your place in the team is at stake.
“So, I needed this performance. I am happy that it has come at the right time for me,” Chavan told MiD DAY yesterday.
Chavan claimed one and three wickets in the last two matches against defending champion Rajasthan and Hyderabad respectively. Chavan’s good showing last season has forced the think tank to keep Indian Premier League (IPL) sensation Iqbal Abdulla on the sidelines so far in the season. Chavan bowled tactfully, inducing the batsmen to drive. He started to trouble Bengal’s batsmen from his first over itself.
After the first ball fell short of skipper Rohit Sharma at extra cover, Wasim Jaffer dropped a sitter at slips when Manoj Tiwary was batting on 23.
Chavan eventually claimed the India player’s wicket for 39.
Jaffer, however, made no mistake in the second chance that came off Chavan’s bowling, dismissing Subhomoy Das for 19. Chavan’s next two victims were lower order batsmen Laxmi Ratan Shukla (2) and V Pratap Singh (2).
Chavan could well have ended with a couple of more wickets had some catches were converted. “It wasn’t frustrating (that the catches were being dropped). I don’t think about it when I am bowling. I like to bowl to my strength. I was trying to bowl in the rough,” he said.
Chavan, a Dadar-resident, revealed that a pep talk from skipper Rohit on the eve of the match helped. “He is an aggressive skipper. He gave me a pep talk because in the last few matches I hadn’t delivered to my potential. So, this performance is satisfying. We hope to get an outright victory here,” said Chavan.