Chandrakant Pandit, one of the most successful coaches in domestic cricket, reckons nobody expected his Vidarbha side to clinch back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles when he took over in 2017. Under Pandit, Vidarbha not only won their only two Ranji titles, they also backed it up Irani Trophy triumphs.
Over the years, Pandit has built a reputation for being an old-school coach, a taskmaster who ticks all the right boxes of strategy, discipline, work ethic, and unorthodox methods. While some players may not like his hardstyle initially and it might lead to a few disagreements, the project eventually becomes a success in the long term.
Much like he did with Mumbai, he also formed various player-led committees for Vidarbha to take care of entertainment, food, fitness, and travel. This forced players to take ownership and it helped in the bonding process. What came as a result of all the old-school work was a Vidarbha side dominating the premier Indian domestic tournament for two consecutive seasons.
“When I took the job of Vidarbha they too were trying to make a mark in domestic cricket. Twice we won the Ranji Trophy though this season things didn’t go as we expected. When I took on Vidarbha nobody expected that we would win the Ranji Trophy and that too twice back-to-back years. Credit should also go to the cricket association in Vidarbha and to former player Prashant Vaidya, who is in the association, for showing trust in me,” Pandit told The Indian Express.
Currently, in lockdown in his village in Ratnagiri due to the novel coronavirus, Pandit is set to move to Madhya Pradesh as their head coach in the coming season. The 58-year-old was a former player for MP, with coaching experiences with Mumbai and Kerala also under his belt.