Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019: Skipper Manish Pandey impressed by Devdutt Padikkal after Karnataka's win
A birthday hat-trick by Abhimanyu Mithun secured Karnataka their fourth Vijay Hazare Trophy, defeating Tamil Nadu by 60 runs (VJD method). Chasing 253 for victory, Karnataka were at 146 for one when rain interrupted play. Mayank Agarwal was 69 not out while KL Rahul was unbeaten on 52 runs. A jubilant Karnataka captain Manish Pandey spoke highly of his team as they inflicted Tamil Nadu’s first defeat of the tournament.
Pandey was particularly impressed by the maturity shown by the 19-year old opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal. Padikkal finished as the highest run-getter of the tournament with 609 runs in 11 innings, scoring at an average of 67.66. Pandey thinks that the youngster is a better batsman than he was at the start of the tournament.
"When you see young guys like Devdutt [Padikkal] getting the most runs in the tournament, it feels really awesome for me as a captain… I think his mindset changed (in a way that) his focus was to bat till the end and get those big hundreds for us. I think that's what has happened. That one game against Hyderabad hit him quite a bit because he was the only (remaining) batsman to bat till the end. If he had batted through, we would have won. It was a learning game for him. I'm glad he overcame that and batted the way he batted the whole tournament. I think he is a great asset to have up the order and I'm very happy with his performances.”
Pandey also attributed the success to the entire team and in all three departments of the game- batting, bowling, and fielding. He stated that the senior members in the side had the responsibility of guiding the talented young bunch of Karnataka players coming through the ranks.
"Everybody put their hard work towards this championship. I thought, to start with, the bowlers, batsmen, everybody had a goal in mind. We got the support of the senior guys; we're always there and looking to do well for Karnataka all the time. This is what makes us a good team. And whoever comes in wants to perform, be it the bowlers or the batsmen. I think the camaraderie that we have is amazing. Glad to have a team like this."
Speaking about his own performances in the tournament, Pandey said that since he batted at number four, he had that added responsibility to score big runs for the team’s cause. Manish Pandey ended as Karnataka’s third-highest run-getter with 525 runs at an astonishing average of 105.00 in 11 innings.
"It's [been] a good season for me. I thought if I'm batting No.4, I had to be there till the end, take the extra responsibility for the team's cause. Little sad I didn't get to bat in the last couple of matches; I was very eager to bat. But if the team is doing well and the boys are scoring and performing well, I'm very happy to be sitting here with the championship.”
Karnataka opener KL Rahul finished the tournament third in the list for most runs, scoring 598 at an impressive average of 66.44. Tamil Nadu’s Baba Aparajith scored equal amount of runs but took one match more in comparison to Rahul. Abhimanyu Mithun finished fifth in the list of most wickets in the tournament with 20 scalps in nine matches.