Cricket

Ranji Trophy | Tamil Nadu has to get its act together

In tight corner: Senior players Dinesh Karthik and B. Indrajith, along with left-arm speedster T. Natarajan, have to ensure vast improvement in Tamil Nadu’s performance.

In tight corner: Senior players Dinesh Karthik and B. Indrajith, along with left-arm speedster T. Natarajan, have to ensure vast improvement in Tamil Nadu’s performance.  

Facing Railways, it only has the slimmest of chances for qualification

It’s time Tamil Nadu delivered collectively. So far, this Ranji season, the side has been performing in fits and starts.

Dinesh Karthiik conjured a fabulous hundred in the marquee clash against Karnataka at Dindigul but there was none to support him. When somebody else put his hand up for the side, the others did not respond. This is a sign of a struggling side.

The host has to get its act together against Railways in the Ranji Elite clash beginning at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium from Sunday.

Tamil Nadu has just five points from five, while Railways has 13 from an equal number of games.

Indeed, the different arms of this Tamil Nadu team have not moved in cohesion. And the team is coming up short at crunch times, unable to drive home its advantage.

Bereft of ideas

The attack appears to run out of ideas when up against a right-left combination.

Tamil Nadu has to find answers, even if it only has the slimmest of chances for qualification following a disastrous start.

Lively left-armer T. Natarajan, likely to be the lone paceman in the XI on what could be a spinner-friendly surface, can also create the rough for off-spin ace R. Ashwin to exploit.

Tamil Nadu has strength in batting but the likes of Abhinav Mukund, the Baba brothers, Dinesh Karthik, and the in-form Kaushik Gandhi will have to fire together. The emphasis should be on patience, right shot selection and building partnerships.

Combative team

Railways is a combative team. The side, however, is not without chinks in batting.

While Dinesh Mor is the leading scorer with 315 at 52.50, the next highest aggregate is that of Karn Sharma, better known for his leg-spin, with 244.

However, in a blow for Railways, Karn is grappling with a shoulder injury and is unavailable against Tamil Nadu. Railways has been dependent on its pacemen — Himanshu Sangwan (25 scalps), T. Pradeep (21) and Amit Mishra (21) — this season.

The seamers will be tested here.

Tamil Nadu has to develop killer instinct. When it sees an opening, the side has to be ruthless.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 8:11:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ranji-trophy-tamil-nadu-has-to-get-its-act-together/article30595758.ece

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