Thursday, April 18

Tamil Nadu’s Unsung Hero: Sandeep Warrier Flies Under the Radar

While Tamil Nadu has dominated the Ranji Trophy 2023-24 season with five convincing victories, the spotlight has primarily fallen on their prolific left-arm spinners, R Sai Kishore and S Ajith Ram, who currently occupy the top two spots in the wicket-takers’ list. However, one player who has quietly played a crucial role in their success has been pace spearhead Sandeep Warrier.

Despite playing a majority of their matches on pitches that traditionally favor spinners, the 32-year-old Warrier has managed to be remarkably effective, claiming 23 wickets and contributing significantly to Tamil Nadu’s dominance.

Warrier’s success can be attributed to his ability to adapt and focus on his own skills rather than relying on the pitch conditions. “The one thing Bala bhai (bowling coach L. Balaji) has been telling me is to take the pitch out of the equation,” said Warrier, explaining his approach. “[Taking inspiration from Jasprit Bumrah], whatever the pitch conditions are, he has been able to get the results. He is focused more on his skillset and how he can play with the batter.”

Sandeep Warrier: Attitude is Everything

Sandeep Warrier: Attitude is Everything

This positive attitude and unwavering focus on his craft have allowed Warrier to overcome the challenges posed by spin-friendly surfaces. He emphasizes the importance of remaining undeterred by unfavorable conditions, stating, “If you think the pitch is slow and there is no bounce, you will feel low about it… But when you take the pitch out of the equation, the only intent is to get wickets.”

Warrier’s contribution comes at a crucial time for Tamil Nadu, who have historically struggled with bowling depth in the Ranji Trophy. However, with Warrier, Kishore, Ajith Ram, and M Mohammad forming a potent bowling attack, they now boast a well-rounded bowling unit capable of performing under diverse conditions.

Warrier further sheds light on the team’s improved bowling performance, highlighting the collaborative effort between the bowlers. “Last year, we got nearly 130 wickets in seven matches but were unlucky in the first three games. So before this season, Sai (Kishore) and I decided to take responsibility in pressure situations. But with M. Mohammad and Ajith Ram doing well, instead of two of us trying to take 15-16 wickets every match, four of us started taking 20 wickets, which has helped the team.”

With Sandeep Warrier providing crucial support under the radar, Tamil Nadu appears well-equipped to continue their dominant run and potentially secure the Ranji Trophy title.

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