That magic touch: How Chandu Pandit’s teams dominate the Ranji Trophy | Cricket

Chandrakant Pandit has built his reputation as one of the most sought after coaches in domestic cricket in terms of planning, preparation, human management and discipline.

None of their compromises have changed the outlook of players when it comes to the aforementioned ingredients and how cricket is played in the respective states where they coach.

Madhya Pradesh, the 41-year-old champion of the Ranji Trophy final at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday, is the latest association to launch the Pandit cricket revolution.

Along with Mumbai, his earlier years were in Kerala, Rajasthan and Vidarbha, and the manner in which his cricketing philosophy was transformed by the ‘Pandit Touch’ is all but confirmed.

The former India and Mumbai wicketkeeper-batter-trained squad will play in the finals for the fifth time in the last six seasons (this is not the case of the 2020-21 epidemic) when the MP faces Mumbai. He guided Mumbai to the final twice, winning the title in 2015-16 and becoming runner-up in 2016-17. For the next two seasons, Vidarbha was the man at the helm when the team won back-to-back titles.

And the last time MPs reached the finals was as leader of the Pandit 23 years ago. Whatever the outcome this time around, the run has already been a huge achievement for a team struggling to make the knockout.

Pandit’s coaching philosophy is simple. They like to put structure and watch as many players as they can before selecting their final team. The idea is to create a structure where the best quality players will be available for the future, without building the current team.

According to an official from Madhya Pradesh Cricket, the classic case is that of 18-year-old batter Akshat Raghuvanshi. “He was playing junior cricket and was impressed by Pandit during the practice match.

The result was instant, as Raghuvanshi repaid the confidence he had shown in this season by scoring 286 runs with a century and three fifties in four matches.

Aditya Star, who was the Mumbai captain when Pandit was the coach, pointed out that he “always puts the team ahead of everyone else, even himself.”

“In the last seven-eight years, he has led the team whenever he has. He has found solutions to get the best out of any team at his disposal.

Pandit has a “no nonsense policy” when it comes to discipline in the team and the star said everyone is fine with it.

“It is something that they are very focused on and they want everyone to be together, play as a team and if somebody wants or goes away from the goals of the team, it doesn’t go well with him. At the same time, he gave the players freedom. He always said yes, he always had a good rapport with the players, ”says the star.

Faiz Fazal, who was Vidarbha’s captain when Pandit won back-to-back titles as coach, says the “preparation and planning” under him was accurate and that it made things easier on the field.

“His X-factor was his tactical knowledge and ability to read the game quickly,” Fazal said.

“He always insisted that whatever you do, don’t be happy. You always strive for more. That’s what he tried to incorporate in all of us. It made a difference when he was with us. Another thing is that he never lost hope in any situation. He always believed we could win because of that situation, ”Fazal said.

Bijumon, who was an assistant to Pandit when he was cricket director with Kerala, is credited with establishing the structure for the prosperity of sports in the state.

“The first thing they did was to set up the Center of Excellence in Kochi. They ignored everything — from the senior team to the camps to the training seminars. He kept a tab on everything personally and made a huge impact on Kerala cricket, ”said Bijumon, a batting coach at the Kerala Cricket Association’s high-performance center in Alappuzha.

He said: “He brought about a change in mentality. People still talk about the campaigns and the young talent that came with it. His idea was to strengthen the bench strength, bring more competition in the selection process and prepare players for the next generation.

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