Another edition of the Irani Trophy concluded on Tuesday, with the Rest of India triumphing over Gujarat at the Cricket Club of India.In the 51 editions of the competitions, both the Rest of India and the Ranji Trophy winners have won the title 27 times now with two matches not producing a outright result.
Here are the 5 best performers from this year’s competition:
Wearing a white bandana, Siddarth Kaul gave a good presentation of himself during the Irani Cup, picking up match-figures of 8 for 156 to help Rest of India restrict the Gujarat batsmen.
Kaul, who was part of the India Under-19 squad which won the title in 2008, had a good season in the Ranji Trophy for Punjab, picking up 35 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 24.62 and showed good skills in the Irani Trophy game at the Cricket Club of India.
If he can show some consistency in his performances, then he will surely add himself to the large pool of fast bowlers, which India have developed in the past few years.
The highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy this year, Panchal had a good outing with the bat once again in the Irani Trophy, scoring a 30 in the first innings and a 73 in the second essay.
The right-hander showed a lot of promise in the Ranji Trophy, making 1310 runs in 10 matches at an average of 87 and played an instrumental role in Gujarat going all the way and winning the title for the first time in their history.
While it looks difficult for him to get into the Indian team right now, there is no doubting that if he can attain consistency in his game, the selectors will begin to speak about him more in their meetings.
One of the brightest spots for Gujarat in the game, Chirag Gandhi was responsible for getting to the score of 358 from a position of 237 for 7, making a superb 169 in the first innings, filled with 22 fours and 2 sixes.
He backed that effort with a fine 70 in the second innings, which also came when the team found itself in a pickle and it helped the side post 246 runs on the board, thereby gaining what looked at that stage as a defendable lead.
Along with Panchal, Gandhi was one of the bright spots for Gujarat in the Irani Trophy encounter and he will look to start well when the new Ranji Trophy season starts later this year.
The Rock of the Indian batting line-up was once again in his elements in the Irani Trophy, making invaluable contributions at the top of the order. Pujara made 86 in Rest of India’s total of 226 and then in the second innings, he went one step further, making an unbeaten 116 and along with Wriddhiman Saha, helping his side chase down 379 runs in the final innings.
This was an important game for Pujara, in the sense, it was the final long format game before the resumption of the Test season early next month and he would surely go into the game with a good amount of confidence under his belt.
Saha lost his place in the Indian team in November thanks to injury, but in this game, he showed he was very keen to get his place back with the Indian team, smashing a double hundred in the second innings to help Rest of India chase down a total of 379 runs.
In his little time with the Indian Test team, Saha has showed that he is a capable batsman, but on Tuesday, he showed that he had it in him to win matches for his side and this knock will surely put him back in the reckoning for the wicket-keeping slot when the Test season resumes next month.