Vidarbha is a good team, but we are ready for the challenge: Sanjay Pandey

NAGPUR: It's almost a decade when Sanjay Pandey He hung up his boots. Had driven Madhya Pradesh Attack for almost a decade and a half from 1996 to 2009. If he had played in the current era, with so much cricket played, Pandey would definitely have put on the national colors.

A man of few words, Pandey has been handling Madhya Pradesh junior teams for the last three-four years. In his first year as a coach, Pandey guided MP to Cooch Behar final in 2017 where they lost to Vidarbha. The upcoming Col CK Nayudu final will be his second as a coach. The opponents are yet again Vidarbha , almost the same group of boys who had won the Cooch Behar Trophy in 2017-18.

Revenge, however, is the last thing on Pandey's mind. Revenge has no place in sports. I am expecting a tough final. Vidarbha have played some good cricket but we have also done well as a team. We are ready for the challenge. Holkar Stadium wicket offers something to everyone. So, it's important to do simple things right, play well session by session. Whichever team would do that will have upper hand.

The 43-year-old former India 'A' pacer has seen most of the players in the last three years. He is happy with their progress. It's good to see all the Vidarbha (2017-18 Under-19 batch) players are doing well in Under-23 as well. In fact, all the Vidarbha teams are doing well. The association is going through a good phase where they are getting good players in every category. There's constant flow of talent. Credit should go to the coaches and the association. They must be doing something right to get these fantastic results. MP is going through rebuilding phase and our teams are also doing well, I said

As a former fast bowler, Pandey is happy with Vidarbha pacer Aditya Thakare's progress. The lanky pacer has 41 wickets in just seven matches this season besides 21 wickets in four Ranji Trophy matches. Aditya is a fantastic bowler. The fact is he is playing Ranji Trophy so early shows how talented he is. I am amazed by his consistency. His rise is good for Vidarbha cricket, he said.

Three years ago, when Vidarbha and MP played in Under-19 final, Vidarbha opener Atharva Taide scored a brilliant 320, which took the game from MP. It would be interesting to see if Taide appears in XI or not, but Pandey is quite impressed with the left-hander who has 746 races this season. When I saw Atharva hit for the first time three years ago, I was very impressed with his technique and temperament. He is a very talented player and has a great future, he said.

MP off spinner Ankush Tyagi He has been in gold for this season, having collected 77 wickets in 10 games. Pandey, however, feels that MP has several good artists. Ankush has won many games for us, but we also have other good players. Arshad Khan It has been in good shape too. Each player has played his part well.

If the higher order has failed, the middle and lower order have assumed responsibility. Our pacemakers have given us important advances. When the pacemakers have failed with the new ball, the spinners have done well to pressure the opposition. You cannot trust only three four players in such a long tournament. I am happy that everyone has fulfilled his role perfectly. I hope everyone does it once more in the final.

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