Cricket

Ranji Trophy: TN may take the aggressive route

Safety measure: With rain playing havoc, the pitches have been covered the last two days ahead of the toTamil Nadu-Gujarat Group B tie starting on Moday. Photo: Rayan Rozario

Safety measure: With rain playing havoc, the pitches have been covered the last two days ahead of the toTamil Nadu-Gujarat Group B tie starting on Moday. Photo: Rayan Rozario  

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Gujarat prepared as well for the away game.

It has been blowing hot and cold for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy this season. An edgy win over Baroda followed by a bag of mixed results has pushed the team to a perform-or-perish situation.

With two matches to go before the knockout phase, Tamil Nadu will look to up the ante for a climb up the ladder against Gujarat in a Group B clash, which begins at the ICL Sankar Nagar grounds here on Monday.

Interestingly, it was Gujarat that the host clashed with the last time it played at this venue in 2005.

The team is aware of it. “We have gone through all phases — win, loss, drawn and rain-affected encounters so we know what to do,” said M. Sanjay, Tamil Nadu's coach.

He is not worried about his opponent. “It does not matter to us. We will be aggressive from the start – not mindless aggression but a calculated one. We have neither underestimated nor overestimated our opponent and we are certainly not going to cow down under any pressure.”

Sanjay said the preparation, despite the on-and-off weather, has been very good. “Our boys have been playing some very good cricket. Our batsmen have come up with some brilliant knocks. We have got the best batting line-up in the country. It is just that they will have to deliver when it matters.”

Bowler-friendly track

He expects a bowler-friendly wicket for the game. “It is our strength. Our bowlers have been consistent and steady. We have good medium pacers in Mohammed and Kousik and successful spinners in M. Rangarajan and Rahil. They have done the job for us before.”

He was pleased that both the matches will be played at home. “We need to cash in on that.”

Gujarat is prepared as well to beard the ‘lion’ in its den. “There’s no game plan as such but we are strong in all departments. Everybody has contributed in some way. Also, we don’t rely on one individual,” said former India cricketer Parthiv Patel, the visiting captain.

He said the team is comfortably placed in the table. “But it is an important game for both sides.”

The teams are ready for the big clash but the weather has hampered their practice sessions.

“We are putting our best effort to get the game going because it is coming after a decade,’ said Kasi Viswanathan, the TNCA secretary.

“It’s a four-day game but if we get at least 270 overs of play then it is good enough for a result,” said P.R. Viswanathan, BCCI Grounds and Pitches Committee member.

The teams (from): Tamil Nadu: Abhinav Mukund (capt.) , B. Aparjith, B. Indrajith, K. Dinesh Karthik (w/k), R. Sathish, Vijay Shankar, R. Prasanna, M. Rangarajan, Rahil Shah, D.T. Chandrasekar, Aswin Crist, M. Mohammed, J. Kousik, M. Kaushik Gandhi, U. Sushil, K. Bharath Shankar.

Gujarat: Parthiv Patel (capt.), Priyank Panchal, A.K. Pathan (w/k), Bhargav Merai, Venugopal Rao, R. Bhatt, Axar Patel, Rush Kalaria, Ramesh Powar, R.P. Singh, Mehul Patel, Manpreet Juneja, Jasprit Bumrah, Chirag Gandhi, Hardik Patel.

Match officials: Umpires: D. A. Dattaray and S.V. Kumar. Match referee: Manu Nayar.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 5:49:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ranji-trophy-tn-may-take-the-aggressive-route/article7905901.ece

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