Ranji Trophy: Sagar Udeshi claims six wickets on Ranji debut
Puducherry's Mumbai-based left-arm spinner Sagar Udeshi claims six wickets on Ranji debut to stun Bihar
Mumbai are struggling to find a quality spinner, but their very own left-arm tweaker is making heads roll for another state team.
Sagar Udeshi, 33, has become a force to reckon with for Puducherry in a short span of time this season. On Monday, the lanky spinner, who has a reputation of being quite economical, claimed six wickets for 50 runs in 28 overs at 1.78 runs per over on his Ranji Trophy debut as Puducherry bowled out Bihar for 173 in a Plate Group match in Patna. Puducherry were 62-0 at stumps of Day One.
Udeshi, who played for Fort Vijay CC and Parsee Gymkhana, toiled for years on Mumbai's maidans, claiming wickets consistently in 'A' division cricket, but it was never 'enough' for him to be considered for Mumbai.
With the Supreme Court diktat paving way for new states to be part of BCCI tournaments at all levels, an offer from Puducherry came calling. Udeshi took the plunge and that has changed his career trajectory forever. "I am very grateful to the Cricket Association of Pondicherry for giving me this opportunity. I am thrilled by how I have bowled in the match so far. My job is not yet done, but it definitely feels great to claim a fifer on my Ranji debut match. It is a dream come true," an
ecstatic Udeshi told mid-day from Patna.
'Thoroughly enjoyed bowling'
Udeshi removed Bihar opener Indrajit Kumar for 15 in the 12th over. The left-arm spinner felt he was in a different zone while bowling. "I don't know how to describe my feeling. I was in the zone, I felt. I was thoroughly enjoying my bowling," he said.
Udeshi unleashed himself in the season-opening Vijay Hazare Trophy [50-over tournament] where he ended up being the most economical bowler [among those who played more than eight matches], claiming 19 wickets in 10 matches at an economy rate of 2.87.
In last month's Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, Udeshi received praise from commentators after making run-scoring difficult for the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav when Puducherry faced the in-form Mumbai team at the Wankhede Stadium.
Though Puducherry lost that match, Udeshi was the most impressive bowler with 0-17 in his four overs against Mumbai. His ability to consistently bowl a good line and length has impressed several talent scouts for the Indian Premier League teams.
IPL on radar
"Playing in the IPL will be the icing on the cake. However, I am not thinking that far now. My focus is on Ranji Trophy and I will give my best for my team," said Udeshi.
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