It was a tale of two captains at the Holkar Stadium on Wednesday (January 11). They weren’t the only ones making waves, but Parthiv Patel and Aditya Tare both crowned themselves in glory on day two of the Ranji Trophy final in Indore.
Parthiv, the Gujarat skipper, wielded his willow with customary gusto on his way to a sparkling 90, an innings that was full of glittering strokes. Tare, who took charge of Mumbai during troubled times three seasons back and has established himself as his own man, stretched his tally of dismissals for the season to 50, the most by any wicketkeeper in one season of the Ranji Trophy.
Neither man had an easy day in office. Parthiv was rapped on his knuckles early in his innings by a lifter from Abhishek Nayar, and put mind over matter in clattering Mumbai to all parts of the park until falling with a 25th first-class century beckoning. Tare, who saw his team put down numerous catches – he himself was swept up in the epidemic in the closing stages of the day – and had one dismissal overturned due to a no-ball, worked hard ensure that the frustration levels didn’t become self-defeating, though it is likely that for the second time in two matches, he will have a tryst with the match referee for unbecoming conduct.
Unlike players who feign ignorance when it comes to records, Tare refreshingly admitted that he was aware that he was on the cusp of breaking his own national record of 48, set last season. “I did know at the start of this game that I had 47 dismissals, it is most likely that one of you guys told me,” Tare said as darkness set in and the cold began to bite at the bones. “I knew I was within sight of my record and now that I have it, it is a very proud moment for me personally. But the record has no meaning if the team doesn’t win the game. I will gladly trade the record for victory.”
Tare also conceded that he did keep a track of his dismissals. “All batsmen count their runs, all bowlers count their wickets, so why not the wicketkeepers?” he asked, tongue firmly in his cheek.
As for Parthiv, he was undergoing treatment to the injured digit, so it was left to Vijay Patel, the Gujarat coach, to dissect the Parthiv influence on a Gujarat team that has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. “He has been with the team for many years now. Till Axar (Patel) and Jasprit (Bumrah) came in to the Indian side, he was the only international player we had,” said Vijay. “He has a lot of influence. He is working hard and he is helping the boys to develop. And you are also seeing the results of it. Definitely he is a good influence, he has a very high influence on the team.”
Vijay said that his captain had made it a habit of delivering on the big stage. “Today’s was a brilliant innings,” said Vijay. “You see in all the formats, like when we played the T20 final, last year we played the one-day final, when we played the Deodhar Trophy, in all the big matches he made hundreds. Today unfortunately in the final, he missed out on the 100. But in all the big matches, he has got big runs for Gujarat.”