CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund believes in a healthy dressing room, where players are under no pressure. Despite conceding first innings points to Andhra in the opening Ranji Trophy game, Abhinav said he had faith in his batsmen and the likes of Kaushik Gandhi were not under pressure. The skipper added that Kaushik was his man for No 3. “It’s nice to hear the skipper is backing you. It’s is a big plus, when you know you enjoy his support.
It makes things easier. We are almost the same age. He understands me and his inputs have been invaluable,” said Kaushik. With Murali Vijay unlikely for the entire season due to international commitments, Tamil Nadu will depend on Kaushik for starts. Last year, he scored in excess of 700 with three centuries. “I know the role I have to play at the top of the order. The captain and coach have clearly defined my role.
I wish to play as per the situation,” said the 27-year-old. Kaushik plays with Vijay for Jolly Rovers in the TNCA league and thinks the India opener has been a source of inspiration. “It feels great to play and train with Vijay. He is such an accomplished batsman and I have learnt professionalism from him. Vijay has been a positive influence on my game.
I have learnt by just watching him play,’’ said Kaushik. Tamil Nadu take on Tripura in the second round of Ranji Tophy from October 14. Meanwhile, the TNCA executive committee placed on record its appreciation for the services of L Balaji, who retired from first-class cricket in September 2016. It hailed Balaji as one of the outstanding fast bowlers to represent the country from Tamil Nadu. The TNCA also requested him to nurture budding cricketers in the state.