VCA Vice-President Prashant Vaidya credits coach Chandrakant Pandit
Vidarbha Cricket Association vice-president Prashant Vaidya credits coach Pandit's disciplined style for his Ranji side's consistent performance
When former Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit took over the reins from Paras Mhambrey as Vidarbha's Ranji team's coach ahead of the domestic season last August, he had to iron out various off-the-field issues. Pandit eradicated any sort of groups formed within the team and ensured they played as a unit. The move paid off as Vidarbha qualified for their maiden Ranji Trophy semis this season. So how did Pandit go about changing the mindset of his players to ensure a disciplined approach to the game without any attitude?
Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit (left) and batsman Ganesh Satish at VCA Stadium in Jamtha recently
"I told the Cricket Administrative Development Committee (CADC) led by Prashant Vaidya and the selection committee headed by Sunil Hedaoo to drop four regular players who were playing for the last eight years despite lack of performance and attitude. I wanted to bring more discipline to the team," Pandit told mid-day yesterday. "I am grateful to Prashant and his team for allowing me to take such decisions. Without their support, it wouldn't have been possible. The players who were introduced also showed how good they are with their performances this season," added Pandit.
Credit to everyone
Former India pacer and Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) vice-president Vaidya gave full marks to Pandit's disciplined coaching style. "Credit goes to our boys, coach and the support staff. They really worked hard. Chandu has got a different way of handling things and that has worked well for us. Sometimes, old theories that we used to adopt are very effective and that is what Chandu is doing. I am very happy with the way he is going about his coaching duties. I knew he will discipline the boys, which is a very important factor for any cricketer," he said.
Vaidya also gave credit to former Mumbai and India opener Wasim Jaffer for his contribution to the team. "He is there because he is performing. An upcoming side like Vidarbha that has good talented players require the presence of Jaffer who has played such a lot of cricket and has a good reputation. His presence helps motivate our team," he said. Another factor that brought discipline into the Faiz Fazal-led Vidarbha outfit was practising in whites except a day prior to the game.
The team sat together and entered the ground as a group, which helped increase team bonding. Pandit elaborated: "I emphasised on a disciplined approach not only on the ground, but off it as well. At the beginning of the season, the approach was very casual. "Though I had not defined a going-to-bed deadline, I asked them what would be better for their performance — having sound sleep after going to bed at a particular time or sleeping at midnight? "I think they realised the consequences themselves, not only individually, but for the team as well."
Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) is expecting their bowling spearhead Umesh Yadav to play in the semi-final against Karnataka in Kolkata before leaving for the South Africa series. VCA vice-president Prashant Vaidya said it will be a huge advantage for his team if Yadav is available for this crucial clash. "Umesh is a top bowler and he would make a lot of difference. I am not sure about his availability. It can be good match practice for him before the South Africa tour, but he is well aware of what his requirements are. We hope he plays for us," Vaidya told mid-day yesterday.
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