TNPL 2018: Dindigul Dragons are the "final frontier" says Madurai Panthers' Rahil Shah
Spinner Rahil Shah heaped special praise on mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthi and KB Arun Karthik and the Siechem Madurai Panthers' resilience ahead of the TNPL 2018 final against Dindigul Dragons. The 32-year-old admitted that it was a challenge to improve Madurai's record but a balanced squad made it possible for them to feature in their maiden TNPL final.
"It is an absolutely fantastic feeling. To come back after the first match (which they lost to Dindigul), it is a phenomenal effort by the team. We had a lot of fun before the second game started so that helped us a lot. There are a lot of new players here who haven't thought about the last two years. After that it was just momentum. This is a momentum-based tournament so we just kept going after that," Rahil Shah told Sportskeeda.
He reserved special praise for mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthi, who has been one of the finds of the tournament. Although Varun has just seven wickets in nine matches this season, his economy rate of 4.97 is the best for any bowler in TNPL 2018 (min 20 overs).
The left-arm spinner says that he has been "absolutely fantastic" and praised his ability consistently deliver dot balls.
"He is one of the top bowlers in the tournament. I hope he plays further for Tamil Nadu and maybe in IPL. Bowling with him is great. We have to absorb the pressure. He bowls a lot of dot balls so the batsmen goes after us. Either we get wickets as a result or bowl good balls and contain the opponents," the 32-year-old said.
Another important player in Madurai's progress to the final has been the form of KB Arun Karthik, who is TNPL 2018's leading run-getter. Rahil hailed the phenomenal form that the opener has been in and admits that when he is in the middle, the pressure on the rest of the players is greatly reduced.
On the challenge that Madurai face ahead of the final where they will face Dindigul Dragons, a side they have never beaten in their TNPL history, Rahil believes that N Jagadeesan's side is the "final frontier".
"It is a final frontier for us. They outperformed us in the two matches so we are looking to give it back to them. We would like to give our best and if all of us give our 110%, we will leave the result to whatever comes."