“This [Rahane’s pep talk] Was positive and about working on our skills,” said Zhimomi. “He also said that we came out stronger after losing too many wickets. We were scoring 20 for 4 and from there we scored 200 plus runs and they didn’t expect it, it seems. We got around 90. batted till [81.5] Over and he appreciated it. Our bowling was much better in the second innings and it was a better performance.
“Playing against West Zone and playing against Rahane, Unadkat, Jaiswal and Prithvi Shaw is a big achievement. They have so many big names in their team. We see them on TV and playing against them is an inspiration for us. I hope so. The boys learn a lot from this tournament and they were discussing it too. Now, we know where we stand and we have to work towards it. [getting better],
“A bit nervous, I think, playing against these teams for the first time [in the Duleep Trophy], But we came back well in terms of batting. We lost early wickets but got a lot of positives from this game.
Hoketo Zimomi, Captain of the North-Eastern Region
Ziomi, however, cautioned North-East players against getting too ahead of themselves and stressed that they need to upgrade their skills if they want to compete with top-ranked teams in domestic cricket.
“It’s too early to say [that we are ready for the next level], We have learned a lot and scoring runs at this level is not easy. they have always been there [at you]They come up with a plan and they stick to the plan.
“So, we have to compete and the level is high, so we have to work hard on the 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 getting him to field for almost 90 overs is an achievement for us.”
Jhimomi cited the bowling as one area that needed improvement after failing to use the new ball, winning the toss, under the skies over Chennai. The early wickets were crucial as the Kookaburra ball was soft and not much to do after 20 overs.
“We actually won a very important toss. The weather was conducive to bowling and the wicket was doing a bit well, but we couldn’t really bowl in the right areas on the first day,” Ziomi said. “A bit nervous, I think, playing against these teams for the first time [in the Duleep Trophy], But we came back well in terms of batting. We lost early wickets, but this game brought a lot of positivity.”