Ahead of Jharkhand’s Vijay Hazare opener against Mumbai on Wednesday, Varun Aaron has stated that the team is confident to break the knock-out jinx and lift the trophy that they had last won in 2011. Aaron has added that the team has a great balance of juniors and seniors which augurs well for them.
With no disrespect to what Vidarbha Cricket Association and Saurashtra Cricket Association have done for their state cricket in the last half a decade, their story has an equal competitor in the form of Jharkhand Cricket Association - a unit that has followed a rigorous methodology to make the state team a pipeline for the Indian team.
After being inducted into Indian domestic cricket scene when Bihar were relegated to the Associate membership status due to state partition in 2003-04, Jharkhand have qualified for the Ranji Trophy knockouts thrice, which also includes the 2016-17 semifinal and Vijay Hazare Trophy knockouts nine times including lifting the trophy in 2010-11.
For a state association that is only 16-years-old, it is a staggering number that is very hard to miss. And when Varun Aaron says they have underperformed despite coming close, you may find it surprising but then again, it talks about the ambition of one of Jharkhand cricket’s stalwarts.
“We always had a very good team throughout the years and now it’s coming to the point where you have a great balance of juniors and seniors. But I still feel we are not performing to our potential. We are not a team who should be playing semi-finals and quarter-finals every year. We should be a team which is winning Trophies regularly because the association gives us all the facilities which we want,” Aaron says in an exclusive chat with SportsCafe.
“I mean there is no shortage of anything from the association. We have built a great team over the past few years and it is coming together really nicely but we still haven’t hit our potential as a team. We won the Vijay Hazare in 2011 and after that we haven’t won a trophy yet. It has been almost eight years now which is a long time for a state team to not win a trophy. It’s high time we at least win one trophy in this season because we have got the talent for that. I just feel if we play together as a team, which is really important, we can easily beat any team in India.”
His statement is backed by facts too. The team led by Ishan Kishan has the likes of Aaron, Saurabh Tiwary, Shahbaz Nadeem, Anukul Roy, Rahul Shukla and Kumar Deobrat - all of them have proven credentials either in the IPL or in the India “A” and U-19 team to be a known face among Indian cricket fans. The combination left a lot to be desired of them and Aaron feels that everything boils down to all of them playing as a unit.
“We have got a very great spin bowling attack, great fast bowling, great batsmen and a really good mix of seniors and juniors without any outside player as all are out own players. We have got a great team and it boils down to us playing as a unit. If you see, somewhere we falter a bit but I am sure it’s going to come good this season and we are going to win a trophy,” Aaron concluded.
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