CHENNAI: IT’S a problem that’s been plaguing them ever since their stellar domestic run two years ago, but Tamil Nadu have somehow managed to paper over the injury-induced cracks in their pace battery with strong showings in other departments in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
A depleted speedster contingent — they’re making do with M Mohammed, Jagatheesan Kousik, V Athisayaraj Davidson and skipper Vijay Shankar — isn’t a cause of concern for them against Jammu & Kashmir at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, but winning is. They need two wins to keep alive qualification chances.
“We just want to win our two remaining clashes. That ought to ensure a quarterfinal berth. Though they may have lost a few matches, we’re not taking J&K lightly,” remarked vice-captain Baba Indrajith on the eve of that Elite Group C clash. “It’s been quite difficult with many of our pacers picking up injuries. But both Kousik and Davidson chipped in when they turned out. And quite a few things have clicked for us.”
“Quite a few” is quite an understatement, as this event has unearthed a good number silver linings for the team.
That Tamil Nadu is the only team with two men — Indrajith and Abhinav Mukund — inside the top-10 run-scorers of this edition serves as enough proof. If that doesn’t, then the 837 runs the two have raked in ought to allay doubts. “Mukund has been brilliant and I’m glad to have struck some form after being away for a long time (an elbow injury had kept him out for nearly four months before the Tamil Nadu Premier League began). (Narayan) Jagadeesan and Vijay too have hit a good patch. Murali Vijay and Washington (Sundar) are back.”
The other ray of hope has been delivered by their spin bowling. Varun Chakaravarthy’s mystery spin has earned him 17 scalps (second highest). He’s been complemented well by R Sai Kishore, who has claimed 10 wickets.
“Varun has been impressive. He bowls with good pace. For those who haven’t faced him, figuring him out takes a good number of deliveries.”
Kaushal in record books
Uttarakhand’s Karanveer Kaushal scored 202 off 135 balls against Sikkim. This is the first List A double century in India. He put on 296 with Vineet Saxena, the highest List A opening stand in India. Uttarakhand won by 199 runs.