Unadkat: Ranji win 'a fitting tribute to one of Saurashtra's favourite sons' Pujara
Captain also says "this decade and era belongs to Saurashtra" following their second title in three seasons
Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat has dedicated the team's Ranji Trophy win to his team-mate Cheteshwar Pujara, calling him the region's one of the "favourite sons".
Pujara hit the winning run against Australia in his 100th Test in Delhi, about a couple of hours after Saurashtra beat Bengal in the Ranji final in Kolkata.
"As I said before it's a fitting tribute to one of Saurashtra's favourite sons, Chintu [Pujara's nickname]," Unadkat said. "He played his 100th Test for India against Australia in Delhi, but he was equally eager, wishing us all throughout."
Pujara is the 13th Indian to play 100 Tests. He made his debut in 2010 and has scored over 7000 runs in his career. He played two matches for Saurashtra this season, making scores of 25, 5 and 91 in three innings, before leaving for national duty.
On the latest triumph, Unadkat, who has led the side to three domestic titles across formats in as many seasons, said "this decade and era belongs" to Saurashtra.
Saurashtra beat Bengal by nine wickets in a replay of the 2020 final to win the Ranji Trophy for the second time. This was also their second title this season, having won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in December.
"It was important to win this one to prove the dominance and to show everyone that this era, this decade belongs to Saurashtra," Unadkat said.
"Three trophies in three years proves that we have been doing a lot of things right. We have set a tone, I'm really proud of what this team has achieved. It's not just about winning trophies but creating a legacy for our team, which will leave a bigger impact on cricket in the region. Our goal will be to carry forward this legacy for at least 3-4 years till the core of our team is intact."
Unadkat, who made a Test comeback after 12 years in Bangladesh last year, was part of the squad for the Australia series, but he asked for permission to play the Ranji final. Since then, he has been added back to the Indian squad for the last two Tests, and has also been called up for the ODI series against Australia.
"At the moment, I feel that my body is in a good shape," he said. "The ball is coming out nicely off the hand. I'm able to bowl long spells, which is crucial."