Days roll on; the months pass by. The eccentric field of cricket has started to wear a rather mundane look. The performances are highlighted and the minnows bashed. Yes, each match brings with it its own mystery that carefully needs to be unfolded but all in all, the pattern of victories is hardly ever altered.

The champion teams regain power and the inferior ones meekly surrender to fight it out on a new day with renewed zeal. The cricket fanatic, seated lousily on his couch, yearns for a wave of change that will bring with it a different perspective to the happenings in the sport. A magical moment that will cause the cricketing realm to sit up and look on in attention is awaited with bated breath. A joyous celebration, going away from the expected destination towards a whole new world of unforeseen elation is anticipated. An occasion that fills each spectator with the warm-tingly emotion of nostalgia and allows him the opportunity to dream is earnestly hoped for. But how often do these glories actually come knocking down the door?

When Vidarbha started off on their Ranji Trophy campaign this season, they were almost the common man of the Indian domestic league. Set amidst the high profile campaigners like Punjab, Bengal and even Services, the team was expected to go down falling just as it had last year. Maybe, just maybe, they could put up a ravishing fight back to challenge the previous champions in the group stage, but that was about it. A further progression in the tournament was doubted and rivals were expected to loom large over the small-town team.

With eyeballs fixed on the likes of Mumbai and Gujarat, the small unit of Vidarbha were hardly afforded any attention. It was after all meant to be yet another tourney that ended the same way for the team since 1957- a whimpering exit without anyone even noticing their absence.

Just when the clouds of oblivion started looming large upon them, Faiz Fazal’s unit gathered together; to be pushed on by the uncharacteristic winds of willpower and passion. Their first outing against Punjab was just the beginning of a new step towards history and Ganesh Satish’s mammoth knock of 164 runs against Yuvraj Singh’s team solidly laid the foundation for an onslaught that had never been anticipated when the tournament began. With an outright win and seven points in their tally, Vidarbha set foot towards sterner challenges with determined intentions.

It was not only the captaincy of Fazal that stood out. It was not only his run-scoring spree that made headlines. Wasim Jaffer’s presence in another outfit other than Mumbai’s too was not the only reason for their overhaul in confidence. Coach Chandrakant Pandit’s motivational speeches and morale boosting tales worked wonders yet that also cannot be solely attributed for the reinvention that underwent the Vidarbha team. What really changed was the unified harmony in the team atmosphere that showed each cricketer, experienced or not, that they did belong to that stage.

It often gets tough to keep inspiring a team that is destined to finish on the lower rungs of leagues. Yet, the beauty of the sport remains in the unadulterated ethic to keep pushing on despite the boulders that block the way. 24-year old Rajneesh Gurbani, who finished with 39 wickets including a hat-trick in the Finals against Delhi, paved the way for the team’s success with his natural ability to swing the ball. He was ably supported by the off-spins of Akshay Wakhare, the bowler who often lands wrong-footed in his delivery stride. Like his unique action that generates extra bounce, his deliveries too garnered widespread appreciation and it was refreshing to witness the two youngsters go about their task sans the records of the team’s past deeds on their minds.

But this year’s Ranji Trophy was always meant to be a new chapter. When Akshay Wadkar scripted his maiden first-class hundred against Delhi to give his team a 252-run lead, it was an inevitable conclusion of the new coronation that would be taking place. As the meagre target of 29 runs was closed down by Jaffer, the scenes that followed in Indore’s Holkar Stadium left one numb and ecstatic at the same time. It was not a case where yet another team had won yet another trophy- it was a situation where the silent brave hearts had pushed through the challenges to finally get their hands on the historical crown.

The first triumph always remains so special; more so when the odds had been highly against your favour. Vidarbha’s triumph was not only the victory of a bunch of ordinary cricketers who pitched in with their all; it was also a glorification of the splendid underdogs.

As the common man readies himself for the unending trials that await him, it is but natural for him to fall behind and lose hope at attaining the summits. But through an approach that is defined by toil and belief, the path towards success unfolds itself out quite wonderfully. Through the fairy-tale journey undertaken by the young squad of Vidarbha, we witnessed just that.