Unbeaten Hyderabad, the clear favourite in Plate final against Meghalaya

The top-order of Tanmay Agarwal, Rahul Singh, Rohit Rayudu, and captain Tilak Varma have scored well consistently; visiting captain Lyngdoh hopes to pull off an upset

February 16, 2024 06:20 pm | Updated 06:21 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Think-tank: Assistant coach T. Pavan Kumar, head coach D.B. Ravi Teja, off-spinner Abhishek Murugan and left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagarajan at the training session on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Think-tank: Assistant coach T. Pavan Kumar, head coach D.B. Ravi Teja, off-spinner Abhishek Murugan and left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagarajan at the training session on Friday, February 16, 2024. | Photo Credit: V.V. Subrahmanyam

Two-time champion Hyderabad will look to finish off its Ranji Trophy campaign in style when it takes on Meghalaya in the five-day Plate Group final at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.

Hyderabad made it to the title-clash with an innings win against Nagaland while Meghalaya scored an outright win over Mizoram in the semifinals.

The finalists have already made it to the Elite Group next season.

Hyderabad opener and lead scorer this season Tanmay Agarwal with coach D.B. Ravi Teja on the eve of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group final against Meghalaya at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.

Hyderabad opener and lead scorer this season Tanmay Agarwal with coach D.B. Ravi Teja on the eve of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group final against Meghalaya at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday. | Photo Credit: V.V. Subrahmanyam

Unbeaten so far, Hyderabad should be the clear favourites unless Meghalaya pulls off a special performance.

With the top-order of Tanmay Agarwal (764), G. Rahul Singh (617), K. Rohit Rayudu (332), and captain Tilak Varma (304) coming good consistently, the host should be equal to the challenge of either batting first or second on a pitch which is expected to spin from the second day.

With even the lower-order batters like Nitesh Reddy, who hit a century, and Pragnay Reddy, who has been really impressive behind the wickets, chipping in with useful contributions, batting was not a concern this season against bowling attacks which apparently didn’t really pose any serious test.

In bowling, left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagarajan leads the pack with 46 wickets from six games (the highest wicket-taker in the Plate Group).

With pacers T. Ravi Teja and Karthikeya Kak getting the early breakthroughs, it had been a relatively easy job for the spinners like Tanay and offie P. Saaketh to take charge.

Hyderabad pacers T. Ravi Teja and Karthikeya Kak share a few thoughts on the eve of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group final against Meghalaya at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Hyderabad pacers T. Ravi Teja and Karthikeya Kak share a few thoughts on the eve of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group final against Meghalaya at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday, February 16, 2024. | Photo Credit: V.V. Subrahmanyam

Hyderabad coach D.B. Ravi Teja said Under-19 World Cupper Abhishek Murugan will replace the injured Saaketh while T.P. Anirudh comes in for left-arm pacer E. Sanketh.

“Pitch looks good for batters, there might be some turn for spinners as the match progresses,” Ravi Teja said.

On the other hand, Meghalaya captain Kishan Lyngdoh said that they were absolutely happy with the wicket.

“Hopefully, we will get more runs. We are a good bowling side but Hyderabad has a strong batting line-up,” he said.

“It is a five-day game, they have been playing for years now, probability is 90-10 in favour of Hyderabad but we fancy our chances,” a smiling Lyngdoh said.

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