Chandrakant Pandit, the Mumbai coach, was in an elated mood after Mumbai strolled to their 36th title, their second in as many years. Pandit conceded that this victory was even sweeter than last year's final, when they won a close game, also against Tamil Nadu, at home. After taking over the reins at a difficult period, Pandit put an effective discipline code in place and injected the team with intensity. Most importantly, he instilled in them a huge amount of pride. He speaks about this, and more before joining the celebrations.
On this match
Both Sairaj [Bahutule] and I were a shade demoralised after losing the toss on the first morning. But the bowlers have been terrific all season and we bowled very well on the first day. We wanted to restrict them, but no way did we expect to keep them below 300. Once we had done that, our batsmen just needed to play sensibly. And they responded in a fitting way.
On the contrasting manner of victory in the last two seasons
Batting was a huge worry last year. And the bowlers struck at vital times when we won some close matches. This year, both the batting and bowling has come together well. The combination has helped us dominate most matches. Ramesh Powar's presence in the lower order [in the league stages] really helped.
On the turning point of the season
I remember the evening before the final day's play at Delhi. We were chasing 185 on a pitch that was turning square and we had been all out for only 239 in the first innings. We had a long team meeting, and I spoke to them about the immense pride that they needed to play with. They had to realize the enormity of playing for Mumbai and the legacy that they had inherited. It's a honour to be playing for the same team as Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and such giants. Added to that, we were playing Delhi, Mumbai's traditional rivals. The way Wasim [Jaffer] and Vinayak [Mane] batted the next day, I knew that this team was special [They won by 10 wickets]. It was one of the best batting displays I have seen. We just kept getting better from there.
On Vinod Kambli's comeback, Amol Muzumdar's return to form and Munaf Patel's first season
Vinod's return was crucial for us. I am happy to say that he returned with a refreshed attitude [after one season with Boland in South Africa]. With him batting at No. 5, the pressure is relieved on the top order. I am really happy for Amol, who had had a disastrous season last year. Credit must go to Vengsarkar, the chairman of selectors, who persisted with him despite his lean season. Munaf played only a handful of matches with us [since he was representing India A]. But when available, he impressed us all.
On what he is most satisfied with after spending two years as coach
I have succeeded in instilling a strong discipline in the side. Added to that, we are a united group and are very sincere in our approach. Nobody is above the team in importance. Everyone is accountable.
On the future
Winning two seasons is great, but it's just a start. My aim is to maintain this consistency for at least six to seven seasons. That is what success is all about.