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Chandrakant Pandit: The ‘Khadoos coach’ who took Madhya Pradesh to the final of Ranji Trophy after 23 years

New Delhi: Time repeats itself. Gives everyone a second chance. Perhaps the same second chance has come in the life of Chandrakat Pandit. After defeating Bengal, the team of Madhya Pradesh has reached the final of Ranji Trophy after 23 years. When MP last played the final in 1998-99, the captain was Chandrakant Pandit. Incidentally, this time again he is the coach of the team. Now this 60-year-old veteran would like to fulfill the wish that remained unfulfilled two decades ago.

Chandrakant is called Khadoos coach
Pandit, popularly known as Chandu Sir among the players, is considered a very strict coach. Knows how to get the best out of players. With this style, he made a team like Vidarbha champions for two consecutive years in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Before joining Vidarbha, Chandrakant was the coach of Mumbai and under his coaching, Mumbai won the title in 2015/16 and was runner up in 2016/17. He wants to do the same miracle for Madhya Pradesh as well. In an interview after defeating Punjab in the quarter-finals, he had said that ‘I don’t care what people think about my mood. You can have a good or bad day on the field, but you have to maintain the discipline of the game.

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Finals against the city where you grew up

Madhya Pradesh will face the strongest team in Ranji Trophy history in the title match, making it to the final of the prestigious tournament for a record 47th time on the basis of a first innings lead against Uttar Pradesh. The match ended in a draw. The final will be played from June 22 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Two former Mumbai players will face off in the final. Mumbai coach Amol Majumdar and Madhya Pradesh coach Chandrakant Pandit have both played for Mumbai.

Played 5 Tests and 36 ODIs for India
Born on 30 September 1961 in Bombay (today’s Mumbai), Chandrakat has also played for India. This wicket-keeper batsman played 36 One Day Internationals and 5 Test matches between 1986 and 1992. He made his ODI debut against New Zealand in Sharjah in 1986 and Test debut against England at Leeds in the same year. However, even once he could not cross the 50-run mark.

Ranji Trophy: Mumbai in the final without winning the semi-final, MP did amazing after 23 years
Support of stalwarts like Gavaskar-Vengsarkar
Chandrakant Pandit’s name is taken with great respect in domestic cricket. In his first-class career, he played 138 matches, scoring 8,209 runs at an average of 48.57. The highest score of 202 with 22 centuries and 42 half-centuries is enough to tell what a player he was. He also took 281 catches as a wicketkeeper. 41 Stumping also tells his agility. He used to play for the team in Mumbai, which used to have players like Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil and Ashok Mankad together.

How did MP reach the final
Bengal needed 350 runs to win, but the team could only score 175 runs. Karthikeya, who played IPL for Mumbai Indians, took five wickets for 67 runs in 32 overs. He took eight wickets for 128 runs in the match. Playing ahead of their previous day’s score of 96 for four, Bengal added 79 runs. The Madhya Pradesh bowlers, led by Karthikeya, bundled out Bengal in 28.2 overs.

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