Ranji Trophy: Crucial tie for hosts
By Ashok Venugopal | Published: 22nd December 2012 08:58 AM |
Dinesh Karthik led-Tamil Nadu will be under immense pressure when they take on a dilapidated Uttar Pradesh in their penultimate league game of the Group B Ranji Trophy tie at the IIT-Chemplast grounds here on Saturday. The hosts with just 13 points from 6 games will have to win their last two games with a big margin to mathematically stay in contention for a berth in the quarterfinals.
On the other hand, UP with 21 from 6 games are in a better position as they are assured of a place in the next stage. This ‘comfort’ factor could lead to complacency and this is what the hosts would like to exploit on Saturday.
UP are also without the services of Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who are all on national duty. Plus Praveen Kumar is yet to recover from injury. At the same time, Tamil Nadu are without their key batsman S Badrinath who is out due to back injury. Plus the continued absence of L Balaji due to toe injury and Ashwin, who is on National call, has made the hosts look for other options. It is time for Indian player Murli Vijay to put a big score against his name in the crucial tie. With the Australia’s tour round the corner, a century could boost his chances and also his confidence when Michael Clarke’s men visit the country.
Dinesh Karthik and Abhinav Mukund also need to come up with big scores to give cushioning for the weak TN attack. Plus Prasanna and KB Arun Karthik too will have a role to play in helping TN post a big total. Yo Mahesh, J Kaushik, Aushik Srinivas and Malolan Rangarajan should form the attack, with all-rounder Baba Aparajith playing the role of third spinner.
On the other hand, UP will depend heavily on skipper Mohammad Kaif and Tanmay Srivatsava to put a challenging score as the rest of the line-up is inexperienced. Sudeep Tyagi will be their main strike bowler.
So on paper Tamil Nadu may be a better side. But the fact that Tamil Nadu conceded lead to Karnataka despite posting a mammoth total and also to lowly rated Vidarbha shows that TN can buckle under pressure.
Therefore if TN plays to potential without putting additional pressure on themselves then UP attack is in for a leather hunt.
The wicket is hard and a bouncy one which should play true and offer equal opportunities for both the batsmen and bowlers.