Madhya Pradesh registered their first-ever Ranji Trophy title win last week, as they defeated Mumbai in the final in Bengaluru. MP chased down a 108-run target with six wickets remaining, as the Aditya Shrivastava-led side ended the state’s title drought on Sunday. The side’s star batter Rajat Patidar hit the winning runs in the game that saw a brilliant all-round performance from Madhya Pradesh, with three batters including Patidar slamming centuries in the first innings.
Patidar had scored 122 runs in the first innings and remained unbeaten on 30 in the second, continuing on his impressive run in the recently-concluded 2022 Indian Premier League. The 29-year-old batter had joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad as a replacement for Luvnith Sisodiya, and emerged as one of the side’s most important batters during the business end of the season.
Patidar had slammed a brilliant century during the eliminator match against Lucknow Super Giants, and followed it with a half-century in Qualifier 2. He eventually scored 333 runs in eight innings at a brilliant strike rate of 152.75.
MP coach Chandrakant Pandit, who worked closely with Patidar during their time together with the state side, reserved a massive praise for the batter, and drew a similarity between three of India’s greatest batters with Patidar.
“The quality player picks up the line and length very quickly, it is like you know he has that extra time than other players. I don’t want to compare with anyone but if I have to take a name… Rohit Sharma has extra time with his batting, you can talk about Virat, and Sachin Tendulkar, they had that little bit of extra time to pick the line and length. Rajat does too. To play the shot through the covers off the back foot, that is not everyone can manage at that pace,” Pandit said, as quoted by the official website of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Pandit further spoke on the hard yards that Patidar put to make a stellar comeback in this season of the IPL after the previous edition, where he played only 4 games, scoring 71 runs at a strike rate of 114.51.
“One has to understand a quality player can go through a lean patch. Rajat has not been recognized by everyone. Last season (IPL)… naturally his first season, in T20, you’re obviously expected to hit every time, he has got that experience coming back this season, just before that hundred, we have seen a couple of innings of 30, 40, 50,” said Pandit.
“He has realized what has to be done. He has been in touch with me, he has been talking to me, the team has so many stalwarts behind him, he is expected to go after the bowlers, if you’re connecting the ball, then you must not stop or you shouldn’t be trying to play 20 overs to get the runs, because Maxwell… the other batsmen are behind him and they should be given enough opportunities too. That is one of the reasons he has to bat that way. It is a team demand and one has to obviously follow that.”