Major Architects of Ranji Trophy 2022-23 win for Saurashtra
Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Major Architects of second Ranji Trophy title win for Saurashtra. Saurashtra beat Bengal in finals and lift Ranji Trophy title for the second time.
Before Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji Trophy in 2019-20 beating Bengal in the final, they ended up as runners-up three times. And now, Saurashtra seem to be making up for those lost finals, winning their second Ranji Trophy in three seasons. This is definitely the rise of Saurashtra as despite missing their star players such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Jaydev Unadkat during the major part of the season, they have lifted the trophy for the second time in the 2022-23 edition.
So, let’s talk about the architects of Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy win in the 2022-23 edition.
Jaydev Unadkat shows the way
Jaydev Unadkat is in probably the form of his life. He was able to play just four Ranji matches for his team this season, but bagged 26 wickets at an average of 13.88 with 2 five-wicket hauls. He also became the first bowler in Ranji Trophy to take a hat-trick in the first over of a match against Delhi.
Unadkat’s performance in domestic cricket earned him his second Test cap after almost over a decade. But yes, he made a big impression with Saurashtra winning Ranji Trophy this season, as he not only led from the front with the ball, but also led admirably in the few matches he captained. A stand-in captain in Arpit Vasavada just carried forward the momentum generated by Unadkat. The left-arm pacer also took a break from the national squad to play the Ranji final where he bagged the player of the match award for his match haul of 9 wickets.
Arpit Vasavada became the second-highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy 2022-23
Arpit Vasavada emerged as the second-highest run scorer and the highest for his team in Ranji Trophy 2022-23 season, scoring 907 runs at an average of 75.58 with 3 tons and 3 fifties. Known as a big-match player, Arpit reserved his best for the knockouts, scoring 202 & 47 not out in the semis against Karnataka where he was also the captain. In the final, Vasavada top-scored with a knock of 81 to guide Saurashtra to a match-winning total of 404. These knocks were crucial in putting Saurashtra in the driver’s seat.
Vasavada also played a vital role in Saurashtra winning their maiden Ranji Trophy in 2019-20 where he was the second-highest run getter for his team after Sheldon Jackson, and 11th overall.
Here’s a snapshot of Vasavada’s performances in the two victorious campaigns for Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy.
Read More: Ranji Trophy 2022-23, Final: Saurashtra defeat Bengal to win second Ranji title
Contributions from Chirag Jani, Sheldon Jackson and Harvik Desai
Although Arpit Vasavada walked away with the credit of scoring the most runs for Saurashtra in Ranji Trophy 2022-23, he was ably supported by his fellow batters. The contributions of Chirag Jani, Sheldon Jackson and Harvik Desai were extremely vital at every stage of the tournament.
In the final, all three batters – Desai, Jackson and Jani - scored a fifty each to take the team’s total to 404. Wicketkeeper-opener Harvik negotiated the new ball to score a brilliant 50. And then three pillars of the middle order - Jackson, Vasavada and Jani – took away the match from Bengal with a fifty each. In the semis, Vasavada’s 202 overshadowed a brilliant 160 from Jackson. Desai’s contributions were extremely vital to Saurashtra’s causes as he struck three tons while opening the batting and also did the thankless job of keeping wickets.
Here's how the three Saurashtra batters fared in Ranji Trophy 2022-23.
Read More: Ranji Trophy 2022-23, Semi-finals: Bengal set up title clash with Saurashtra
Dharmendrasinh Aniruddsinh Jadeja the X-Factor
Although Saurashtra boasted of a strong batting line-up, and a good pace bowling unit led by Unadkat, it was the left-arm spinner Jadeja who ensured Saurashtra didn’t miss star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who was mostly recovering from a knee surgery during the tournament. Dharmendrasinh picked up 43 wickets in 10 matches for Saurashtra with one five-wicket haul. He reserved his best for the semis where he took 4 wickets for 79 in the second innings to bowl out Karnataka for 234.