Pune: When it comes to experienced heads, very few domestic sides in India are covered as well as Saurashtra. Sitanshu Kotak, their coach, is one of the stalwarts, having called time on a 20-year career in 2013.
Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Shah with coach Sitanshu Kotak at Pune’s MCA stadium yesterday
Their skipper Jaydev Shah has led the team since 2004-05, and has captained a Ranji side on more occasions than any other Indian cricketer in history.
The Shah-Kotak combination has taken the Saurashtra team from Group C all the way to the finals, and the duo obviously is confident of their chances ahead of the final against Mumbai starting today at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium.
"Sitanshu bhai has been great because he has been playing with us. He knows all the players well, he knows the mentality of the players. We are very proud to have him as our coach. We just hope we can make it to more finals and win," Shah said on the eve of the Ranji final yesterday.
For Kotak, it’s an opportunity to win a Ranji title, something that he couldn’t achieve as a player. "As a Saurashtrian, I always had the dream of winning the Ranji Trophy. We won the Ranji one-dayers under his (Shah) captaincy but couldn’t win the final in 2012-13.
This year too, we have been performing very well as a unit. We will take this game as just a normal Ranji game. I don’t think we need to take any pressure," Kotak said.
Seven of Saurashtra’s current team members were part of the Ranji final against Mumbai three seasons ago.