CHENNAI: MRC A opening batter NS Chaturved was full of praise for the team’s outstation stars, who played a pivotal role in the successful TNCA First Division 2021/22 campaign.
Harsh Dubey (335 runs and 30 wickets), Rishi Dhawan (278 runs and 27 wickets) and K Venkata Sasikanth (15 wickets) contributed heavily for MRC A, which got the better of Vijay CC in the final here to bag its maiden Rajah of Palayampatti Shield. “Dhawan is a thorough professional. Despite the heat [and the challenges it posed], he never wanted to give the ball away,” said Chaturved, who led MRC A when Ravichandran Ashwin was unavailable.
“I had captained the team in 10 matches. There were situations during which I asked if he (Dhawan) wanted to stop bowling. But, he used to say: ‘I will bowl and get a wicket. I will take a break later’. His batting experience helped the batter who was with him in the opposite end. He has a lot of positive vibes,” added Chaturved.
“Our other guest players – Dubey and Sasikanth – are really sweet off the field. When they step on the field, they give it their all. We (local players) learnt a lot from all three of them.” Chaturved also said that MRC A was rewarded for its grind in the last few years.
“It feels amazing. Right from the first year [in the First Division], we knew it was going to be difficult. But, we never stopped putting in the effort. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the management helped us by organising camps. This season, the first four matches got over by September 2021. In the off-season, we started training after an eight or 10-day break. Our goal was to be the fittest team on the field in the second phase,” Chaturved explained.
On a personal note, Chaturved enjoyed a good season since he finished as the team’s second-highest scorer – behind B Anirudh Sitaram (627 runs) – with 522 runs in 14 innings. “If I can get the numbers, like I did this game, on a consistent basis, I will get the break. It is in my hands and I have to take it in my stride,” Chaturved, who struck a terrific 132 in the title decider, said about knocking on the doors of the Tamil Nadu selectors.