Cricket

Ranji Trophy | Gujarat vs Goa — a mismatch of sorts

Driving Force: Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel is satisfied that his team is peaking at the right time.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Moments after he finished multiple wicketkeeping drills, had a short stint with the willow at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in the tiny coastal town, Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel waved at Sairaj Bahutule. The team’s coach joined him in and the duo did a round of sprints together in the searing heat.

Having topped the top tier in style — five outright wins in eight league games — Gujarat will be gunning to dash past Goa in a Ranji Trophy quarterfinal that appears to be a mismatch of sorts, thanks to the BCCI’s inexplicable decision to let a Plate Group team have a go against the big teams in the knockouts.

No doubt, Goa won seven games outright and two on the basis of first innings lead in the league stage.

In fact, its tally of 50 points is the highest by any team. But the fact remains that Goa was relegated after a poor show in Group C last season and competed against a majority of newbies.

Amit Verma has led from the front, almost scoring 800 runs and picking 40-plus wickets with his effective leg-breaks.

“Obviously, our primary target was to top the group and get promoted to Group C. With that achieved, we have nothing to lose and I hope the young bunch puts up a spirited fight in the big match,” Verma told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Despite Gujarat being rank favourite, Parthiv stressed there is no question of complacency creeping in.

“It’s satisfying to see how we have bounced back after two bad matches in the middle stage. I think we are peaking at the right time and despite Goa being a Plate team, since this is a quarterfinal, we are not going to take any team lightly.”


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:02:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ranji-trophy-gujarat-vs-goa-a-mismatch-of-sorts/article30863501.ece

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