CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu are not in control of their own destiny as they take on Baroda at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara on Saturday in their final Group C clash. Currently fourth in the group with 11 points from five games, the final round of games will decide which way the cookie crumbles. Andhra Pradesh, who has completed their league campaign, leads the group with 19 points followed by Madhya Pradesh (15) and Mumbai (14).
TN were held to a draw by Madhya Pradesh in their previous game and need to beat the hosts (on 10 points) possibly with a bonus point and hope that Mumbai and MP stumble.
Failing to get the first innings lead in their opener against Andhra Pradesh and the inability to prevent Odisha from securing the lead have come back to haunt them.
“We know it’s a must-win game. Seven points and an outside chance to reach the quarterfinals are on the line. The games against Andhra and Odisha were disappointing and now we are having to depend on other teams. But the team management have not put us under extra pressure. We know our potential and we need to deliver,” Tamil Nadu bowler K Vignesh told Express.
The situation has been further complicated by the recent India call-up for all-rounder Vijay Shankar and also the unavailability of Dinesh Karthik. Vijay had scored 140 against Odisha in Round 4. “Being an all-rounder, Vijay is vital for us. But it is also an opportunity for someone else to step up,” Vignesh added.
The team has underwhelmed in both batting and bowling which can be seen from the fact that no player has made it to the top-15 charts. The only players to have emerged with some sort of credit are V Yo Mahesh and Vignesh. While Yo Mahesh has two tons to his name, Vignesh is the highest wicket-taker (18). Incidentally, no TN bowler has taken a fifer this season.
Another worrying aspect has been the form of captain Abhinav Mukund. The southpaw has accumulated only 240 runs from five matches. “Overall, the team has played well but not to the best. We needed someone to win the match on their own with the bat or ball which has not been the case this season.”