Important to have a positive mindset, says Vidarbha's Ganesh Satish
Ganesh Satish, a 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman who was a part of the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup winning team, had opted to play for Vidarbha over Karnataka in 2014 because of the limited chances he was given. He has contributed a lot for Vidarbha and has played a significant role.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Ganesh talks about his cricketing career and also the upcoming IPL season.
How does it feel to be a part of the winning team of Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup?
Satish: Feels really special. Having been part of it 4 years ago with the Karnataka team and then not knowing if I would ever win another again. This one feels a little more special because it’s the first one in the history of Vidarbha cricket and no one expected it. You expect Karnataka to do well but this team showed something special. It was a complete team effort as all the members of our team played a significant role in our victories.
Who supported you when you opted to play for Vidarbha instead of Karnataka?
Satish: The biggest support was obviously my family. My parents, wife and brother always believed in me and knew that it was a tough decision but something I had to do. Their support is one of the main reasons why I’m able to enjoy my cricket even though I’m away from home for large periods of the year. Staying away from home and playing with a new team was not easy but VCA made me feel comfortable and the boys in Vidarbha have made me feel Nagpur as my second home.
Wasim Jaffer has been the highest run scorer in the Ranji Trophy. What role has he played in your life while sharing the same dressing room?
Satish: What more can you say about Wasim Jaffer? He’s a legend of Indian domestic cricket and his support in the dressing room has been immense. He has guided the youngsters and helped the coach and captain with timely advice. He has personally helped me with some technical inputs before this season which I think made a big difference. You can learn so much from him by just watching him bat in the nets and playing alongside him.
What was going on in your mind in the Ranji Trophy Semi Final against Karnataka when your team was in a serious trouble?
Satish: We knew that the semi-final was going to be a really tough game against one of the strongest sides in the competition. They had just blown Mumbai away in the quarterfinals and we knew we had to be at our best to beat them. But this team like I said was a different Vidarbha team. We believed that we could do it and even after Karnataka got a big first innings lead we knew we could come back into the game.
My thoughts were on getting the team to a total which gave us a fighting chance. Furthermore, my focus was to play close to the body and look to rotate strike because the wicket had something for the fast bowlers on all 5 days and I was up against one of the best bowling attacks in the country.
Luckily, it came off and with some good support from Apoorv and Aditya Sarvate. We were able to get a total where we had a chance and then came the dream spell from Rajneesh. It was definitely one of the best matches I’ve ever played in and that win gave us great confidence heading into the final.
Rajesh Kamath has been your childhood coach. What is the thing you like about him?
Satish: Rajesh Kamath has been my coach since I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I always tell people that whatever my batting is it is down to that man. He has always been there to guide me and his knowledge about batting is at the top level. His tips about balance and my batting grip about 4 years ago have helped me tremendously.
He’s also the one who gives me proper guidance on many cricketing decisions. One thing that I can assure about him is that he is very straightforward. He doesn’t flatter or try to be nice. He says it as it is. He knows my batting in and out and I know I can bank on him.
In 2010, you played for Malnad Gladiators in the Karnataka Premier League. How did that tournament help you to improve your game?
Satish: Playing for the Malnad Gladiators was a great experience for me. It gave me the ability to showcase my ability in the shortest format of the game. The captaincy of the team was a big responsibility for me and we were successful to get into the later stages of the tournament which gave me a big boost.
IPL is set to begin on 7 April. Which team do you think is the favourite to win the title?
Satish: That’s probably the toughest question here. All the teams look really strong. Mumbai Indians have kept their core unit and looks really strong and being the defending champions they will be looking to carry that on. Being a Bangalore boy, I would love to see the Royal Challengers Bangalore win and I think they have a great chance this time with the team they have got but the IPL has always been unpredictable and I’m sure any of those teams could win it.
There are various young cricketers in India who are frustrated due to lack of opportunities. What piece of advice would you like to give to them?
Satish: I would like to say is just keep at it. It always feels tough and you feel like nothing is working out but in the end, hard work and perseverance always pays off. I would recommend the cricketers to find the right people to coach you and support you. It is always important to move with a positive mindset. Your biggest asset is your belief.
If you follow these things then everything will eventually fall into right place. But most importantly, don’t forget why you started playing the game. It was just for the love of batting or bowling and this should continue.