NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji backed young paceers to deliver this season after bowlers set up a commanding victory against Railways in a Group B Ranji Trophy match on Monday.
Resuming at 200 for four, Railways were dismissed for 240 with left-arm spinner Rahil Shah, battling back spasms, taking four wickets. Set a target of 77, Dinesh Karthik top-scored with 43 as Tamil Nadu coasted to an eight-wicket win to move to third on the table.
It was a commanding display by the bowlers, who plucked out the remaining six wickets in just 18.2 overs. Skipper Mahesh Rawat was the first one to depart, trapped in front by J Kousik. Once Shah removed V Cheluvaraj for 88, it was too much of a ask for the lower-order.
“It’s a young bowling unit and they need guidance. They adapted very well. They know their responsibilities and it’s just a little bit of adjustment that you need when you travel. We’ll face situations where we have to develop into a good bowling unit. Taking 20 wickets is our target as we have some experienced spinners and batsmen who can post good totals,” Balaji said of the performance.
Despite Rawat and Cheluvraj stitching together 131 for the fifth wicket, the bowlers — especially pacers — rose to the task. Frustrated towards the end of Day 3, they were more intense on the final morning. Trying to limit damage when not finding breakthroughs and going on attack when the situation favoured was compelling to watch.
Aswin Crist, who got six in the first innings, has support in M Mohammed. Like never before, they also have the luxury of two pace-bowling all-rounders — Vijay Shankar and Kousik, who have been disciplined. “Skill, courage and intelligence are important for a bowler to evolve. Last season Crist was raw but he now understands the importance of intelligence. You won’t take five wickets in a spell. It’s about maintaining consistency. Vijay and Kousik are a big cushion. When pacers are overbowled, you need them for long spells. If they do well, the mood changes and suddenly you get aggressive,” Balaji said.
Explaining his role — he is a player as well — Balaji said unless forced, he won’t disturb the combination. “It’s brotherly help. I want to be part of their emotions, planning, and strategy making. The next half will be challenging because conditions at home won’t be favourable to pacers and you need to change the approach. They are going to explore and do that in the middle. They need to find a way to take the game forward,” he said.
Tamil Nadu (1st innings): 328
Railways (1st innings): 164
Railways (2nd innings, o/n 200/4): Cheluvaraj c Karthik b Shah 88, Rawat lbw Kousik 78, Jonathan c Crist b Kousik 18, Bhima Rao c Shankar b Shah 11, Anureet c Shankar b Shah 1, Upadhyay c Prasanna b Shah 0, Mali (batting) 0; Extras (b 3, lb 5, nb 1) 9; Total (88.2 ovs) 240; Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-44, 3-60, 4-77, 5-207, 6-215, 7-227, 8-233, 9-238. Bowling: Crist 10-0-33-0, M Mohammed 14-5-37-1, Shankar 9-3-26-1, Kousik 23.2-12-45-2, Rangarajan 12-3-46-2, Shah 19-6-38-4, Aparajith 1-0-7-0.
Tamil Nadu (2nd innings): Aparajith (batting) 10, Mukund b Anureet 8, Karthik c Bhima Rao b Anureet 43, Shankar (batting) 3; Extras (lb 1, w 11, nb 1) 13; Total (23.2 ovs) 77; Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-73; Bowling: Anureet 12-5-43-2, Upadhyay 2-0-4-0, Ashish 6-1-22-0, Mali 3.2-0-7-0.
At Rohtak: Bengal 329 & 211/8 dec (P Shaw 61, A Hooda 4/65) drew with Haryana 225 & 195/6 (R Sharma 50, S Rana 50, A Dinda 3/52). Bengal 3, Haryana 1.
At Jaipur: Karnataka 281 & 318/5 dec bt Rajasthan 242 & 265 (P Sharma 114, D Yagnik 71 no, D Mathias 3/53) by 92 runs. Karnataka 6, Rajasthan 1.
At Bhubaneswar: Delhi 311 & 193/9 dec (D Shorey 62, G Gambhir 54, N Rana 52, B Mohanty 6/39) drew with Odisha 217 (A Sarangi 76, P Sangwan 7/38) & 88/3. Delhi 3, Odisha 1.
At Nagpur: Vidarbha 332 & 149 bt Maharashtra 237 & 162 (H Khadiwale 55, A Wakhare 6/58, A Sarwate 4/74) by 82 runs. Vidarbha 6, Maharashtra 0.
At Vadodara: MP 269 & 288/6 dec (R Patidar 101, H Singh 53, R Khan 50 no, S Singh 4/94) bt Baroda 296 & 174 (Y Pathan 86, P Datey 4/20, M Hirwani 4/41) by 87 runs. MP 6, Baroda 0.
At New Delhi: Services 254 & 311/6 dec lost to Saurashtra 264 & 302/6 (M Dodia 65, A Vasavada 57, R Jadeja 55, M Khalid 4/147) by 4 wkts. Saurashtra 6, Services 0.
At Dharamsala: Tripura 285 & 270 (N Sen Chowdhury 66, U Bose 60, A Bedi 3/50, A Vasisht 3/63) lost to Himachal 561/5 dec by innings & 6 runs. HP 7, Tripura 0.
At Hyderabad: J&K 460 & 56/2 drew with Hyderabad 280 & 329 (K Sumanth 78, H Vihari 65, D Prince 62, B Anirudh 57, R Dayal 5/55, U Nazir 3/63). J&K 3, Hyderabad 1.
At Jamshedpur: Goa 302 & 102/5 dec drew with Jharkhand 209 (S Jakati 5/72, A Yadav 3/59) & 105/6 (A Yadav 3/47). Goa 3, Jharkhand 1.