Hurting TN takes on upbeat J&K

PRETTY PICTURE: Dindigul gets its first Ranji Trophy game as Tamil Nadu hosts J&K at the NPR College grounds. Photo: K. Pichumani

PRETTY PICTURE: Dindigul gets its first Ranji Trophy game as Tamil Nadu hosts J&K at the NPR College grounds. Photo: K. Pichumani  


Jammu & Kashmir’s remarkable upset over forty-time Ranji champion Mumbai has been the big story of the first round of league matches this Ranji trophy season.

First team to face J&K fresh off this stunner will be Tamil Nadu, as the teams clash at the picturesque NPR College grounds here from Sunday.

With the floods in September wrecking the State’s cricketing infrastructure, the J&K will have to play all the games away from home, and that seems to have strengthened the team’s resolve, as is evident from its preparation.

Intense preparation

The team had a twelve-day camp in Nagpur before the start of the season under the watchful eyes of coach Sunil Joshi. And, the results are showing.

The four-wicket win over Mumbai has thrown up some unlikely heroes in speedster Ram Dayal and opening batsman Shabhum Khajuria. While the former took eight wickets in the match, the latter scored a century and a half century.

With J&K captain Parveez Rasool making the list of probables for the World Cup squad, the off-spinner would want to make his presence felt.

The other players to look out for are fast bowlers Umar Nazir and Mehjoor Ali.

Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, had a disastrous outing in its first match against Karnataka.

Losing by 285 runs after conceding a first- innings lead of just 16 runs showed how badly it slipped up in the last two days against the defending champion.

Getting bowled out for 82 in the second innings would have definitely shaken its confidence.

Tamil Nadu has failed to qualify for the knockouts since the two-tiered format was dispensed with.

The main problem has been the bowling which has failed to pick up twenty wickets consistently.

With S. Badrinath opting to play for Vidharba this season, the pressure is on Dinesh Karthik and Baba Aparajith to get big scores on a consistent basis.

Abhinav Mukund was in good touch in the first innings against Karnataka before getting a trifle unlucky in being adjudged leg before for 84.

The over reliance on speedster L. Balaji has not helped TN’s cause either. He will be playing his 100th First Class match, and will be felicitated by TNCA on Sunday.

As the threat of rain looms, both teams would hope for four full days of play to push for an outright win.

Need consistency

“We need to dominate all four days, and just not the first two days as was the case against Karnataka. We cannot be overawed by or underestimate any team in this group,” Tamil Nadu coach W.V. Raman said.

Rasool said: “It is important for contributions to come from every player because, at the end of the day, it is a team game.”

He also thanked Sachin Tendulkar for the pep talk he gave the team in Mumbai.

Joshi said: “I am proud of the players because of the way they have fought against adversity.”

The teams (from):

Tamil Nadu: R. Prasanna (captain), Abhinav Mukund, Dinesh Karthik (w.k.), B. Aparajith, B. Indrajith, M. Kaushik Gandhi, Vijay Shankar, Malolan Rangarajan, Rahil S. Shah, R. Aushik Srinivas, U. Sushil, L. Balaji, M. Mohammed, T. Natarajan, J. Kaushik.

Coach: W.V. Raman.

Jammu & Kashmir: Parveez Rasool (captain), Ram Dayal, Ian Dev Singh, Adil Rishi, Shabhum Khajuria, Hardeep Singh, Bandeep Singh, Aditya Pratap Singh, Paras Sharma, Obaid Haroon (w.k.), Waseem Raja, Samiullah Beigh, Umar Nazir, Mehjoor Ali, Manik Gupta, Mudasir Gojree.

Coach: Sunil Joshi.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 8:04:42 AM |

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