We can still win: Yusuf Pathan
After toiling for more than two days against a star-studded Mumbai batting line-up, Baroda were trailing by 478 runs with five wickets in hand at the end of Day 3 in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2012-13 quarter-final. The Yusuf Pathan-led side relentlessly bowled over 200 overs as the hosts piled on 645 runs in the first innings. After Mumbai declared their innings, Saurabh Wakaskar and Aditya Waghmode saw off the Mumbai pacers with a 102-run stand, until spinner Vishal Dabholkar ended it. With the partnership broken, Baroda lost wickets in quick succession in the final session of the day and were reeling on 167 for five.
Although they are facing an uphill task, the visitors still have the experienced Pinal Shah and Ambati Rayudu batting in the middle and are keen to put up a fight with two more days still remaining in the game. Speaking to the media later in the day, Baroda skipper Yusuf Pathan appreciated the efforts put in by his team while taking on the experienced Mumbai side.
Excerpts from his media interaction:
On the day’s play and the plan ahead
We have a young team and we will do something. We don’t have very experienced bowlers to have been able to restrict them to 400 runs or less. But the bowlers did well. Things don’t always go the way you plan. But there is a lot to be learnt from the experience. Although we have lost five wickets we still have batting left in the side, we have five wickets in hand. The match can be won from here too if any two batsmen lower down bat well then there will be some satisfaction.
We had got off to a good start. But then we lost five wickets quickly. If we had lost one or two wickets for 160 odd runs things would have been different and we would have been good position.
On Pinal Shah and Ambati Rayudu still batting at the crease
We still have batting left in the line-up. There is also Gagandeep Singh Natt lower down the order and Murtuja Vahora can bat too. Bharghav Bhatt can be expected to contribute 40-50 runs as well because he has won us a crucial match when we were nine wickets down. And against Tamil Nadu, he and Murtuja had a good partnership. If we play for the whole day tomorrow then we can do well.
On Ambati Rayudu
He is good and he can play and there is also Pinal Shah still in the middle so there is hope that we can do well. I am confident, and the boys are also confident [of performing and putting up a fight]. Five batsmen are still there [to take the innings forward].
On whether he was disappointed that their bowling couldn’t restrict Mumbai
I am not very disappointed. Our bowlers are not very experienced. We have done well. In some session we didn’t give away too many runs and restricted the batsmen. And there is a lot that they can learn from here for the next time. It also gives us an idea of what we need to do in the future at this stage especially for guys who are playing in quarter-finals for the first time.
Overall I am satisfied with the season because we have done well as a group. We have enjoyed [our cricket] and given our best so there won’t be any regrets. I have told the boys too that when we look back we shouldn’t feel that we should have done something [that we didn’t do]. We are putting in a lot of efforts on the ground. After fielding for 200 overs also we were diving to field the ball which means we are putting in efforts to make things happen so the boys are happy about that, that we are doing what we can.
On him getting out early while going for the shots
I played my natural game. If I hadn’t got out it would have been different. When wickets were falling at one end maybe with my positive batting, if I was not out, the pressure would have been on the opposition that I am still there. Even if I had waited and played I would have had to come back tomorrow and play [and go all out]. Even if wickets are falling at one end, if runs are coming from the other end then the opposition too sees that [and helps build pressure on the opposition]. And if someone else stands-up later it can make things difficult and match can be close. We had chased 500 runs like that in the Duleep Trophy [earlier].
If we play one session well we can come back.