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Opening blues notwithstanding, Tamil Nadu still confident of Deodhar success

One aspect that has buoyed Tamil Nadu throughout their domestic season this year is their willingness to learn from mistakes.

Published: 27th March 2017 01:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2017 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

Kaushik Gandhi’s 134-ball 124 went in vain for Tamil Nadu

Express News Service

CHENNAI: One aspect that has buoyed Tamil Nadu throughout their domestic season this year is their willingness to learn from mistakes.
Though they lost their Deodhar Trophy opener against India Red in Visakhapatnam on Sunday by 32 runs, skipper Vijay Shankar has already made quite a few mental notes.
“One of our strengths has been our fielding, but we did miss a few chances today. The wicket started slowing down and kept low as we got closer, and batting became a bit difficult,” explained the batting all-rounder.

“I suppose that the fall of my wicket and DK’s (Dinesh Karthik) shifted the momentum. Had we been around, things would have been different; something that we will focus on in the next match. All we’re lacking at the moment is that final push to get us over the finish line. And, even though we didn’t win, we got an idea as to how to go about chasing a 300-plus score.”
Result notwithstanding, Tamil Nadu also witnessed a couple of silver linings during the clash at the ACA-VDCA Stadium, with one big sliver coming in the form of Kaushik Gandhi’s 134-ball 124.     
Right since his team’s Ranji Trophy campaign, the 27-year-old right-hander has donned the role of Tamil Nadu’s willow-wielding sponge, absorbing pressure from opposition bowlers and in turn allowing his partners to score more freely.

A 785-run Ranji tally (average of 60.38, and his team’s second-best) was followed by 297 more during the Vijay Hazare Trophy (at an average of 37.12, and again his team’s second-best).
If those numbers don’t speak for themselves, then Kaushik’s industriousness and agency were again on show during his century against India Red, with each of the each of his 88 non-boundary runs (71 singles and 17 runs in 2s and 3s) underscoring those two traits. “Our plans always include one set person to be out in the middle throughout, and Kaushik fits the bill. Plus, he’s batting really well at the moment. I’ve seen him in action since our U-15 days. It feels good to see a person from the same batch doing well,” remarked Vijay.
Though Tamil Nadu’s next clash on Monday against India Blue (at the same venue) has now assumed a do-or-die hue — winner enters the final — fretting is the last recourse that the Tamil Nadu contingent wish to opt for.
“We’ve played such matches recently. We’ve been in quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals this season, and we’ve done well,” stated Vijay. “It’s just another match for us. The other team is India Blue, with quality players from across the nation. Facing them is just an opportunity for us to better ourselves. We just want to enjoy this moment.”

rahulravi@newindianexpress.com



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