Dinesh Karthik hails teamwork as Tamil Nadu make it Perfect 9 with win over Gujarat
NEW DELHI: Captain Dinesh Karthik is pleased as punch with the way his boys have performed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy so far. Tamil Nadu defeated Gujarat on Wednesday for their ninth consecutive win, which is a unique feat in the history of the tournament.
In a battle of the table toppers in Jaipur, Tamil Nadu thumped Gujarat by 78 runs. Batting first, Karthik’s team made 289/9 thanks mainly to openers Abhinav Mukund (79) and Murali Vijay (94). Promoted to No 3, Washington Sundar made 45. Tamil Nadu gave the new ball to spinners Baba Aparajith and R Sai Kishore. After losing captain Parthiv Patel in the second over, Gujarat were never in the hunt and got bowled out in 44.2 overs. “Very pleased with the performance. The boys were able to execute plans, full marks to them,’’ said Karthik from Jaipur. This was the first time in recent years that they performed as a unit and got contributions from almost every member of the team, in batting and bowling. Seniors
and juniors played their part perfectly.
“Seniors players, be it Abhinav, Aparajith or Vijay Shankar, performed well so that the youngsters could look up to them and deliver. Our bowlers were consistent and did a good job. Murugan Ashwin gave vital breakthroughs. It was a collective performance and we look forward to carrying the momentum into the next stage,” said Karthik.
Chief coach D Vasu attributed the good show to judicious selection and teamwork. After taking charge, the first thing he wanted was bowlers in good shape. “We set a process, the boys followed it and expressed themselves brilliantly. Full credit to them. We analysed our bowlers at the camp and decided to rotate them to keep them fresh and injury-free. The pacers were rested at different stages.
So they stayed fresh and hungry.”
For the bowlers to deliver, there had to be runs on the board. Tamil Nadu’s batting clicked beyond belief. “Some of the players who joined later — Murali Vijay after his county stint or Vijay Shankar after injury — delivered straightaway. Abhinav, Aparajith, DK were is splendid form. Shahrukh (Khan) and Hari Nishaanth used their opportunities. What helped us were the century partnerships in every game,’’ explained Vasu.
Tamil Nadu’s spinners were spot on, with Aparajith among the wickets and often bowling the full quota of 10 overs. “He was brilliant as a bowler for the first time. When we came to know that Washington was advised not to bowl as a precaution and play as a batsman, we needed someone and Aparajith did a splendid job. Sai was accurate as usual. Ashwin was handy. Myself and DK spoke to Ashwin. We told him he will play all the matches and asked him to just express himself,’’ revealed Vasu.
Brief scores: TN 274/9 in 50 ovs (Vijay 94, Abhinav 79, Washington 42; Kalaria 3/36, Nagwaswalla 3/56) bt Gujarat 196 in 42.2 ovs (Axar 55, Merai 44; Mohammed 3/30).