Cricket

Chandrakant Pandit: A hard task-master and a successful coach

Means business: Chandrakant Pandit marshals his troupe at a training session.

Means business: Chandrakant Pandit marshals his troupe at a training session.  

This will be Pandit’s sixth Ranji final in charge of a team

Wasim Jaffer may be featuring in his 10th Ranji Trophy final but his Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit is one step ahead of the veteran.

The former India glovesman-batsman-turned coach will be involved in his 11th Ranji final — sixth as coach — as Pandit’s Vidarbha wards take on Saurashtra from Sunday in a bid to defend their Ranji Trophy title.

After featuring in five Ranji finals — four for his home team Mumbai (Bombay then) and one for Madhya Pradesh — during his 21 seasons in First Class cricket, Pandit has done one better in his second avatar as coach.

Most sought-after

This will be his sixth Ranji final in charge of a team. Having overseen Mumbai’s golden generation — with Jaffer as a youngster — in two finals during his first three-year stint in the early 2000s, Pandit has been one of the most sought-after coaches in Indian domestic circuit.

Having donned various hats for Maharashtra, Rajasthan (he was the director of cricket during one of Rajasthan’s title-winning seasons) and Kerala before returning to Mumbai, Pandit has established himself as a hard task-master who produces results.

In between, having also been the India Under-19 coach for a World Cup, he was appointed as the Under-19 chief selector but with coaching being his calling, he returned to Mumbai’s folds in 2015-16.

Since then, for the fourth year in succession, the team he has been in charge of has been in the Ranji final.

When Pandit took over as the Mumbai Under-19 coach soon after retiring in 2000-01, his coach Ramakant Achrekar, the coach of Sachin Tendulkar among others, had told him: “You will carry on my mantle of grooming youngsters”.

If Vidarbha can win its second successive title, it will be a fitting farewell by Pandit to his coach, who passed away four weeks ago.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:14:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/chandrakant-pandit-a-hard-task-master-and-a-successful-coach/article26163570.ece

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