CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu team’s batting looks solid, with all slots filled and vacancies arising only due to injuries. A player like Washington Sundar has to fight for his place despite being part of India U-19.
With Dinesh Karthik and N Jagadeesan around, the wicketkeeper’s place has also been sealed. The spin department too wears a settled look, with only the fast-bowling unit offering scope for vacancies. Especially taking into consideration the fact that the likes of T Natarajan, Aswin Crist, K Vignesh and M Mohammed have been susceptible to injuries.
S Sharath, chairman of the state selection committee, admitted that he wanted to keep a close eye on Tamil Nadu’s bowlers — in particular, the seamers — during the Kalpathi AGS Buchi Babu tournament.
“I think this is one area for grabs. Whoever does well here has a good chance to be in the state’s scheme of things.” Teams for the competition were selected so as to test out the pool of talent in the state.
Medium pacers Yo Mahesh and M Raja, and spinners Aushik Srinivas, S Kishen Kumar, S Swaminathan comprise TNCA XI’s bowling attack.
Against Baroda, they failed to defend 340, and on Friday conceded 354 against Hyderabad. TNCA XI coach Venkatesh defended his bowlers, saying that wickets and conditions were not conducive for seamers.
“At the India Pistons ground against Baroda, we played in overcast conditions. The wicket and outfield got better as we played. Against Hyderabad on a very good batting wicket, our boys gave their best. Only towards the end did the wicket help spinners. Both were on the slower side,” added the former Tamil Nadu Ranji selector.
So, what is his advice for bowlers when it comes to tracks like these? “They should bowl wicket to wicket, be patient, and maintain a steady line and length throughout. Also, they must learn how to mix their deliveries up. Aushik needs to be a little more innovative, bowl at different angles, and use the crease more,” opined Venkatesh.
Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, the coach of TNCA President’s XI, was happy with his team’s seamers L Vignesh, V Lakshman and Ashwath Mukumthan. “They’re all good. But I was impressed with Lakshman. He is quite sharp and has good bounce. With some more experience and exposure, he can develop into a quality fast bowler.”
At MRF-Pachaiyappa: Assam 176 in 61.5 ovs (Parag 65, Thakuri 55; Rahil 5/54, Malolan 3/40) vs TNCA President’s XI 105/1 in 28 ovs (Rohith 47 n.o); At Murugappa: Saurashtra 296 in 89.2 ovs (Barot 46, Harvik 49, Jadeja 53 n.o; Chandrasekar 3/81) vs TNCA Districts XI; At SRMC: Hyderabad 354/9 in 90 ovs (Tanmay 82, Akshath 67, Sumanth 103 n.o; Aushik 5/103) vs TNCA XI; At SSN: Chhattisgarh 350/8 in 90 ovs (Choubey 70, Dhaliwal 64, Khare 92; Mulani 3/100) vs Mumbai.