'Happy with how things went, but would have been happier if we'd won Ranji Trophy': Gujarat all-rounder Chintan Gaja [Exclusive]
- Sportskeeda catches up with Chintan Gaja for an exclusive interview.
- Gaja was exceptional for Gujarat in Ranji Trophy 2019-20.
His contributions in Gujarat's first Ranji Trophy title (2016-17) were vital. Likewise, the right-handed fast bowler played a vital role in his team's road to the semis in the 2019-20 edition of the tournament (where they lost to Saurashtra).
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, the youngster talks about his journey over the years and much more.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Question: To start with, congratulations on an excellent Ranji Trophy 2019-20 season, Chintan. Could you please shed some light on your journey throughout the tournament?
Chintan: First of all, thank you so much. Yes, it was a very good season personally. I learned a lot from this year's Vijay Hazare Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and Ranji Trophy. I was very happy with how things went but would have been happier if we (Gujarat) would have won the Ranji Trophy.
Question: You were an asset for Gujarat in this year's Ranji Trophy as you put forth a terrific all-round performance. What helped you deliver consistent performances with the bat and the ball?
Chintan: Performing, when the team needs, is what I wanted from the start. So, that behavior, I guess, has played a major role in delivering such performances. And, just taking one match at a time is something that has helped me.
Question: How crucial has your captain's (Parthiv Patel) support been for you up until now? Also, how would you describe your rapport with him?
Chintan: He (Parthiv Patel) has been fantastic in the way he has built this team (Gujarat). He knows every player's strengths and weaknesses, which plays a very important role in a setup like the Ranji Trophy. He is like a tutor on the cricketing field. Any time and in any given situation, I can trust him blindly. He knows my bowling more than anyone else in the world, myself included.
Question: Gujarat have been doing well for the past few years in the Ranji Trophy. What, according to you, has been the team's greatest strength all this while?
Chintan: I believe the team build-up has been crucial in Gujarat's success all this while. The current team, as you can see, has been playing together for almost seven-odd years. So, I guess that has helped. Everyone knows each other’s game very well, which has helped each one of us in performing to our fullest. So, that has been the striking point in doing good together.
Question: How has the experience of playing alongside players like Parthiv Patel, Piyush Chawla, and Axar Patel been?
Chintan: It has been a fantastic experience to play alongside such great personalities. Everyone has supported me on and off the field. I can go for advice whenever I want and get honest feedback. So, that has helped me a lot.
Question: You had a dream Ranji Trophy debut season, with your six wickets in the second innings helping Gujarat beat Mumbai in the final to win their first-ever Ranji Trophy title. Please take us through your performance in the final.
Chintan: Yes that was a dream season for all of us, especially for me because it was my first season and when you win a tournament of Ranji Trophy's stature in your first season itself, your confidence boosts up. And having got six wickets in an innings, I couldn't have asked for more.
Question: Moving on to some personal questions, what or, per se, who inspired you to take up cricket as a career? To whom would you like to credit your success in the domestic setup?
Chintan: My father (Tarun Gaja) played an important role in shaping my dream of becoming a professional cricketer. My love for cricket came from my father. While growing up, I saw my father play local matches for LIC, which, in a way, motivated me as well. Alongside my father, I would also credit my success to all my coaches up until now who have helped me reach this level.
Question: Lastly, what piece of advice would you like to give to budding cricketers who get caught up in today's competitive environment?
Chintan: Give your 100% every time you step on to the field. Don’t worry about the results. There will always be tough times but there will be a very fruitful road ahead of them. So, just follow the process and keep enjoying it. That is the reason you start anything, right? So, just enjoy whatever you do.Published 19 Mar 2020, 17:09 IST