“It is a big achievement playing against West Zone and playing against the likes of Rahane, Unadkat, Jaiswal and Prithvi Shaw. Lots of big names in their team. We see them on TV and playing against them is a motivation for us. I hope the boys learn a lot from this tournament and they were also discussing it. Now, we know where we stand and we have to work towards [getting better].”
“A bit of nerves, I guess, playing for the first time against these teams [in the Duleep Trophy]. But we did come back well, in terms of batting. We lost early wickets, but lots of positives from this game”
Hokaito Zhimomi, North-East Zone captain
Zhimomi, though, cautioned the North-East players against getting too far ahead of themselves and insisted that they needed to upgrade their skills if they were to compete with the top-ranked teams in domestic cricket.
“It’s too early to say [that we are ready for the next level]. We have learnt a lot and it’s not easy to get runs at this level,” Zhimoni said. “You need to work very hard on your skills and temperament is very important – you have to wait for the loose deliveries. They are always there [at you], they come with a plan and they stick to the plan.
“So, we have to counter that and the level is higher, so we have to work hard on skills and I hope next year we come back stronger. Still 200-plus runs against this West Zone team is a big achievement [for us] and making them field for almost 90 overs is an achievement for us.”
Zhimomi cited bowling as an area that needed improvement after they failed to make use of the new ball, having won the toss, under the overcast Chennai skies. Early wickets were significant with the Kookaburra ball getting soft and not doing much after 20 overs.
“We won a very crucial toss actually. The weather was conducive to bowling and the wicket was doing a bit, but we couldn’t bowl in the right areas actually on the first day,” Zhimomi said. “A bit of nerves, I guess, playing for the first time against these teams [in the Duleep Trophy]. But we did come back well, in terms of batting. We lost early wickets, but lots of positives from this game.”