Services v UP, Ranji Trophy Quarter-Final, 3rd day January 8, 2013

Life's biggest achievement - Chatterjee

14

Over time, when they look back at the history of the game for inspiration, they would do well to consider Soumik Chatterjee's unbeaten 34, made on one leg and with plenty of bravado. Unable to walk, the Services captain had been carried off by four of his team-mates from the dressing room to the team bus on day one, after he'd badly damaged his left knee while fielding. He'd dragged himself out to the middle to bat at No 11 in the Services first innings, and lasted one delivery. In the second, with Services 54 for 5 in their chase of 113, Chatterjee hobbled in again and went on to play the most significant innings of his career, which led to what he called the biggest achievement of his life.

"This match is my life's biggest achievement," Chatterjee said of Services' Ranji Trophy quarter-final win over Uttar Pradesh. "Maine ye socha tha ki aaunga toh jitaake aaunga, warna baahar nahi aaunga [I won't come back without winning it for the team]. Yes, I was injured but I knew that if I made up my mind, I could win the game for the team.

"It was a matter of having a partnership for five-six overs. When that happens, the other side loses the advantage. I knew that if I and Rajat [Paliwal] could play out five-six overs, the game would be ours."

Chatterjee was asked whether he had thought about the chance of aggravating his injury when deciding to come out to bat. Scans had revealed serious clotting around the knee. "There was no risk. Even if I lose my life, I will always be there for team," he replied in the emotional aftermath of victory.

When Chatterjee came out to bat, the immediate reaction among journalists watching the game was that with his perceived inability to run, he would end up squeezing out any remaining momentum from the chase. But to everyone's disbelief, he soon started limping and then, unable to bear the pain, hopping on his fit right leg for singles.

Wing Commander Deepak Bhaskar, the Services manager, said it was a collective decision by himself, the coach and Chatterjee to send in the captain at No 7. "We were not sure whether he would be able to run," Bhaskar said. "It was all down to him, how he felt out there when he started batting."

While Chatterjee was sure he would be able to recover in time for the semi-final starting on January 16, Bhaskar was more realistic. "It is a call we will have to take," Bhaskar said. "We will see how his treatment goes."

There is still more than a week left for the semi-finals, and for the moment, Chatterjee was grateful to all his team-mates. "All 11 players of the side are special and I give credit to all of them," Chatterjee said. "We won because of all of them. Not only the 11, but all the 15 (in the squad) and the 17, including the coach and the manager, and also the four who have sat out, I credit them all. We won because of all their hard work."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bharatpaliwal on January 9, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Contratulations to the whole services team. they just fought like warriors and well played Rajat paliwal for his unbelivebale knock leading services take home to the semifinals

  • 30-30-150 on January 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    The difference between the two teams was Rajat Paliwal. What an amazing innings from him in the first innings on such a difficult pitch. And Chatterjee's determination and passion for the game is highly commendable. Well played Services.

  • on January 9, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    superb effortssssssssssss...............

  • muthu4664 on January 9, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    you guys done Ranji trophy proud. Dhoni & co need to get inspiration from service team effort.playing in 1 leg is no means joke. proud of u man.

  • on January 9, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Hey Soumik great performance. Wanna see u in full gear again on 16th. All the best to you and your team

  • on January 9, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    What our national captain needs to know is that - All 11 players of the side are special and I give credit to all of them," Chatterjee said. "We won because of all of them. Not only the 11, but all the 15 (in the squad) and the 17, including the coach and the manager, and also the four who have sat out, I credit them all.

  • on January 9, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    What commitment !!... We need such players in Indian Cricket Team... Not the ones who have been sleepwalking for the last one year...

  • TATTUs on January 9, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Well done Captain! Thats all really , this for just to get the comment to 25.

  • on January 9, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    That's commitment. Period.

  • Nanpops on January 9, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Awesome!!! Well done services. Hope to see Soumik in the next match and I bet the trophy will be yours if the team continues with the same spirit.

  • bharatpaliwal on January 9, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Contratulations to the whole services team. they just fought like warriors and well played Rajat paliwal for his unbelivebale knock leading services take home to the semifinals

  • 30-30-150 on January 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    The difference between the two teams was Rajat Paliwal. What an amazing innings from him in the first innings on such a difficult pitch. And Chatterjee's determination and passion for the game is highly commendable. Well played Services.

  • on January 9, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    superb effortssssssssssss...............

  • muthu4664 on January 9, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    you guys done Ranji trophy proud. Dhoni & co need to get inspiration from service team effort.playing in 1 leg is no means joke. proud of u man.

  • on January 9, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Hey Soumik great performance. Wanna see u in full gear again on 16th. All the best to you and your team

  • on January 9, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    What our national captain needs to know is that - All 11 players of the side are special and I give credit to all of them," Chatterjee said. "We won because of all of them. Not only the 11, but all the 15 (in the squad) and the 17, including the coach and the manager, and also the four who have sat out, I credit them all.

  • on January 9, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    What commitment !!... We need such players in Indian Cricket Team... Not the ones who have been sleepwalking for the last one year...

  • TATTUs on January 9, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Well done Captain! Thats all really , this for just to get the comment to 25.

  • on January 9, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    That's commitment. Period.

  • Nanpops on January 9, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Awesome!!! Well done services. Hope to see Soumik in the next match and I bet the trophy will be yours if the team continues with the same spirit.

  • on January 9, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    reminds me of Patsy Hendren and few other great players who defied pain for the sake of the team....great job...Chatterjeababu.....

  • on January 8, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    Well done Soumik Chatterjee.............

  • on January 8, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Well Done Team... Great Attitude by every member of team. Wish you all the best for next one.

  • on January 8, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Congrats buddy, fantastic performance by the team... Get well soon ;)

  • on January 8, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Congrats buddy, fantastic performance by the team... Get well soon ;)

  • on January 8, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Well Done Team... Great Attitude by every member of team. Wish you all the best for next one.

  • on January 8, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    Well done Soumik Chatterjee.............

  • on January 9, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    reminds me of Patsy Hendren and few other great players who defied pain for the sake of the team....great job...Chatterjeababu.....

  • Nanpops on January 9, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Awesome!!! Well done services. Hope to see Soumik in the next match and I bet the trophy will be yours if the team continues with the same spirit.

  • on January 9, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    That's commitment. Period.

  • TATTUs on January 9, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Well done Captain! Thats all really , this for just to get the comment to 25.

  • on January 9, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    What commitment !!... We need such players in Indian Cricket Team... Not the ones who have been sleepwalking for the last one year...

  • on January 9, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    What our national captain needs to know is that - All 11 players of the side are special and I give credit to all of them," Chatterjee said. "We won because of all of them. Not only the 11, but all the 15 (in the squad) and the 17, including the coach and the manager, and also the four who have sat out, I credit them all.

  • on January 9, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Hey Soumik great performance. Wanna see u in full gear again on 16th. All the best to you and your team