Who is Siddharth Desai? 5 interesting facts about Gujarat left-arm spinner who took 7/42 in Ranji Trophy game vs Karnataka 

Siddharth Desai at the Narendra Modi Stadium
Siddharth Desai at the Narendra Modi Stadium

With their 'never-say-die' attitude, Gujarat snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat to stun Karnataka in a Group C encounter of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2023/24. Defending 110 runs, Gujarat bundled out Karnataka for 103 and won the fixture by just six runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday, January 15.

After winning the toss, Karnataka took a solid 110-run first-innings lead. Their skipper Mayank Agarwal (109) scored a great century, and Manish Pandey made 88 in the first innings.

With a 110-run deficit, Gujarat crumbled again but somehow put up 219 runs to hand Karnataka a fourth-innings target of 110. The visitors started decently, putting up an unbeaten 50-run stand for the opening wicket.

It was all going as planned for Karnataka before they suffered a collapse of the highest order. Gujarat's Siddharth Desai wreaked havoc as he claimed magical figures of 7/42. The visitors lost their last nine wickets for just 48 more runs.

He single-handedly bamboozled Karnataka's batting order and put Gujarat on the frontfoot with his left-arm spin. Desai utilised the sluggish nature of the surface to his advantage and took wickets continuously across his 13-over spell.

Rinkesh Vaghela, the right-arm off-spinner, took the remaining three wickets as Gujarat clinched a six-run victory on Day 4.

Desai's outstanding performance played a pivotal role in Gujarat's triumph, showcasing his potential as a rising talent in the domestic cricket scene. On that note, let's learn more about the Gujarati spinner and get to know five interesting facts about him.

#5 Took a six-wicket haul in his debut Ranji Trophy game vs Kerala

Siddharth Desai announced his arrival to competitive cricket with a remarkable performance. He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Gujarat against a formidable Kerala side in October 2017.

The Kerala side had the likes of Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby, Arun Karthik and Jalaj Saxena in their playing XI. However, they were restricted to 208 in their first innings, with Desai taking three wickets.

As Gujarat took a 99-run lead, Desai became lethal in the second innings and claimed a six-wicket haul. He shared the new ball with the pacers and bowled 26.3 overs to return with 6/80.

He was adjudged the Player of the Match in his maiden first-class encounter.

#4 Won the U-19 Asia Cup with India in 2018

Siddharth Desai has tasted success and is a former winner of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup with Team India in 2018.

Born in August 2018, Desai was just 18-years old when he won the silverware with the Indian U-19 team. Due to his impressive performance at the tournament, Desai was even selected in the Indian squad for the ACC U-23 Asia Cup competition held in Sri Lanka later that year.

Led by Maharashtra batter Pavan Shah, the U-19 Indian team of 2018 included the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Anuj Rawat and Prabhsimran Singh.

#3 Highest wicket-taker at the U-19 Asia Cup 2018

Desai not only participated in India's win at the U-19 Asia Cup 2018 competition but contributed massively to his side's success.

The slow orthodox left-armer spun his web around the batters and ended up as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, held in Bangladesh. Desai took 18 wickets at an immaculate bowling average of 8.44 and at a strike rate of 14.33 across five innings.

#2 Took 14 wickets in a Ranji Trophy game vs J&K in 2022

Siddharth Desai appealing
Siddharth Desai appealing

Taking massive wickets isn't a new experience for the Gujarat tweaker. In fact, in December 2022, Desai put on a stellar show and grabbed limelight when he took as many as 14 wickets in a Ranji Trophy game against Jammu and Kashmir.

After Gujarat made 307 in the first innings in Ahmedabad, Desai took 6/38 to halt J&K to 135. Gujarat asked the visitors to follow-on and Desai thwarted even further in the second innings.

He ran through the J&K batting order and mustered eight wickets in just 18 overs. He finished the match with incredible figures of 14/104. With that spell, Desai registered the best bowling figures in the 2022/23 edition of the Ranji Trophy.

#1 Highest wicket-taker for Gujarat in Ranji Trophy 22/23 season

Siddharth Desai celebrating with his Gujarat teammates
Siddharth Desai celebrating with his Gujarat teammates

Despite playing less than 30 first-class matches in his career, Desai has slowly become a vital cog in Gujarat's side. His importance, especially in red-ball format, was there to be seen at the Ranji Trophy 2022/23 edition.

While Gujarat had an underwhelming season, Desai certainly left his mark and accumulated the most wickets for his side in the competition. After playing six Ranji Trophy 22/23 fixtures, Desai took 30 wickets at an impressive average of 23.70 and three five-wicket hauls.

In total, he has taken 124 first-class wickets at an average of 25.88 after 27 matches.

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