India’s ace fast bowler Umesh Yadav has lauded Rajneesh Gurbani, who scalped 12-wicket haul in Vidarbha’s nerve-wrecking 5-run victory over Karnataka in the second Ranji semi-final. After claiming a 5-fer in the first innings, Gurbani pulled off an even superior spell (7 for 68) under intense pressure in the second innings to finish the match with the astonishing figures of 12 for 162.
Umesh was also part of his home team Vidarbha in the all-important semi-final and played a crucial role in the first innings by grabbing 4 wickets. However, Yadav is more pleased for his fellow Vidarbha pacer Rajneesh as he hoped that the young speedster plays for India soon.
“He has been bowling really well in recent times. This was his fifth five-wicket haul and in the final, he will do well I am sure. My best wishes will be with him always. I wish he becomes the second player from Vidarbha to make it to the Indian team,” Umesh Yadav was quoted as saying by IANS.
Chasing 198 in the fourth innings, Karnataka were 111 for 7 overnight. However, Vinay Kumar was in no mood to let it go as he took the score to 141 before being perished for 36. Shreyas Gopal (24) and Abhimanyu Mithun (33) then put on a crucial stand of 48 for the ninth wicket to take the side to the brink of victory.
Elaborating how things had panned out at that point in time, Umesh said that he advised Gurbani to stay calm during those stressed moments.
“During those tense moments, I was telling him to stay calm and not get anxious. He was the main bowler and we needed him to relax. The responsibility was on me to keep him calm being the senior pro. I told him not to think about the runs. In the final, the team does not need my advice. They have been doing well and I hope they will make a good match,” Yadav added.
Vidarbha will lock horns against the seven times Ranji Champions, Delhi in the all-important final. The 84th edition of Ranji Trophy final will be played at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore from December 29 to January 2. Umesh will not feature in the final since he will travel to South Africa with the Indian team-mates for a three-match series, commencing on January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town.