'Proved to people we weren't one-season wonders'
After Vidarbha became only the third domestic side to defend both their Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup titles, their senior players spoke about their campaign, and the aspirations for next season
After Vidarbha became only the third domestic side to defend both their Ranji and Irani Cup titles, ESPNcricinfo caught up with their senior players to learn more about their campaign, and the aspirations for next season:
Favourite moment of the season
Faiz Fazal: I think, the time when we lifted the Ranji Trophy that's the favourite. It's a tournament that lasts two-and-a-half to three months, so that happiness is different. But lifting the Irani Cup against a terrific side is great. It's a happy moment for us and our careers.
Wasim Jaffer: Winning the Ranji Trophy is the sweetest moment, because you work so hard for 10-11 games and then to achieve it, that's the ultimate.
Aditya Sarwate: Ofcourse, winning the Ranji Trophy for the second-consecutive time. Last year, many people were saying that our Ranji win was a fluke - that we were a one-season wonder. We proved them wrong.
Ganesh Satish: It still has to be the Ranji Trophy. The preparation and hard work was for that trophy. This year's win is special because of the expectations. A lot of people said last year's win was a one-off, so to prove them wrong is even more special.
Two Ranji-Irani wins in a row - what makes Vidarbha so consistent?
Ganesh Satish: We start our camps very early, end of April, so that is a start. There's no room for complacency here. The U-19s have reached the finals twice, so the seniors know there's no complacency because youngsters are waiting to get their turn in this team. So it pushes everyone to do better.
Aditya Sarwate: Our coach implies on team discipline and unity so that's a big trait. In a big season where there are eight league matches and then the knockouts, team unity is important.
Faiz Fazal: We are a side that's looking to continuously improve, so that's what's made us consistent. It will be the key for next year too.
What do Vidarbha need to do to make it a hat-trick?
Aditya Sarwate: We dropped a lot of catches this season. Otherwise, our lower-order did well when the top order didn't perform. And our bowlers stood up too. We had six outright wins this season, which shows they've done well.
Faiz Fazal: We need to get big scores, the way Hanuma got in both the innings, and even the way Ajinkya played. Unfortunately, he missed his hundred, but the class showed. Still lot of areas to work, and we will be focusing on that before next season.
Ganesh Satish: We want more conversion from our middle-order batsmen. Apart from Faiz, Wadkar and Wasim bhai, there are a lot of boys who can improve on their conversion rates. And also, because Umesh and Gurbani were missing for a few games, the youngsters came in, but we want more from these boys. Yes, they did well, but we want them to do better, not just over-rely on our spinners.
Wasim Jaffer: We can improve in every department. There is no such thing as a complete team. We need to challenge ourselves in all departments: batting, bowling and fielding.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo