CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu team management and the selectors are not happy with the way the team performed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. They believe the boys ought to have fought better in a few crunch games as they had the resources and were familiar with the conditions. Despite that, for the second successive year, Tamil Nadu failed to cross the group stage. The team won five out of nine matches and finished fourth in the Elite Group C.
S Sharath, chairman of the senior selection committee, feels the team missed a bowling all-rounder and should have done better against Gujarat, Jharkhand and J&K. “We lost to Gujarat and J&K at Chepauk, which is our home ground. Against Jharkhand we made a good chase but could not finish the game. All teams are good at this level. You need a fighting score. For this you need to have an able lower middle-order and also bowlers who can contribute. See how Haryana played.”
Tamil Nadu have batsmen who can chip in with a few overs, which makes them batting all-rounders. Vijay Shankar, B Aparajith fall in this category. However, Washington Sundar is someone who regularly bowls his full quota of overs. He is an accomplished batsman as well. Somehow, the team has not been able to use him as an all-rounder. They were unlucky as well, considering that the player was out injured for a while.
“Yo Mahesh and J Kousik are two bowling all-rounders we have,” said Sharath. “They have been in and out.” With Yo Mahesh injured and Kousik not a certainty in the XI, who are the ones the team can look at? “If we don’t have one, we need to create one. Varun Chakaravarthy looks like a good candidate. If he improves his batting, he can create an impact, like Sunil Narine and Rashid Khan. His style and thought process as a bowler is like that of these two. He has the talent and I am sure he will make a mark as a cricketer,’’ opined Sharath.
Varun agrees and says he is keen to improve his batting. “I am aware that if I do this I will be of better use to the team. I am also aware that today there is no place for one-dimensional cricketers, particularly in the shorter formats. I will start working on my batting and try to bat higher in TNCA league matches.”
Yo Mahesh needs surgery
V Yo Mahesh has a knee injury which needs surgery. The bowler thinks it will keep him out of the first few matches of the Ranji Trophy starting next month. “I have to undergo a knee surgery. I wish to recover soon and be of use to the team,’’ said Mahesh.