The four-day Hyderabad-Kerala Ranji Trophy Group ‘C’ match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from Monday should be a contest between two teams which only hope for some redemption at the end of a disappointing season even as the focus shifts to individuals rather on teams’ performances.
For, Hyderabad with 18 points from seven matches (Kerala has 19 points from as many games) should hope to record an outright win here with a bonus point and then think of various permutations and combinations. These include the second-placed Jammu & Kashmir (25 points) losing its last league match.
With the BCCI curator P. R. Viswanathan ‘identifying’ the pitch for this match, it should be interesting how it behaves given the fact that in the last two games at this venue, even one innings was not completed. The inability of Hyderabad to use ‘home advantage’ against Maharashtra and Tripura did come in for serious criticism.
Vihari back to form
In terms of individual performances, Hyderabad’s Hanuma Vihari finally re-discovered his ability to bat long, having scored a double ton and a century in last two games. So is the case with the more flamboyant and experienced Ravi Teja who too came up with two centuries.
Captain Akshat Reddy failed to convert good starts and Ahmed Quadri, after hitting two tons in-a-row, failed to get going in the next three games like the opener T. Suman. Consequently, the lower-order has been brittle.
Pick of the attack
In bowling, lanky pacer Ravi Kiran is the pick of the attack with 24 wickets this season and that the part-time off-break bowler Amol Shinde (12) is the next highest wicket-taker can well reflect the inadequacies in this department.
On the other hand, Kerala which has two wins and is here after losing to Goa in its last match, should be hoping for its in-form batsmen Vinoop Manoharan, captain Sachin Baby, Niklesh Surendran and V.A. Jagdeesh to come good to post challenging totals for the spinners — offie Vinoop Manoharan and left-armer Chovvakkaran Shahid, who picked 25 wickets each this season — to take charge.
The frontline batsman Sanju Samson will not be playing for the second game in-a-row as he is in Dubai with the India under-19 team.
The teams (from):
Hyderabad: P. Akshath Reddy (capt), T. Suman, D.B. Ravi Teja, G.H. Vihari, Ahmed Quadri, B. Sandeep, Ashish Reddy, Amol Shinde, Habeeb Ahmed (wk), Alfred Absolom, M. Ravi Kiran, Mehdi Hasan, Anwar Ahmed Khan, Danny Derek Prince and R. Aniket.
Kerala: Sachin Baby (capt), Niklesh Surendran (wk), V.A. Jagadheesh, Robert Fernandez, Rohan Prem, P.M. Anfal, Vinoop S. Manohran, Sandeep Warrier, Prasanth Parameshwaran, P. Prasanth, C.P. Shahid, K.R. Sreejith, Niyas Nazar and P.U. Anthaf.