CHENNAI: A cracker of a contest is on the cards when Chepauk Super Gillies meet Dindigul Dragons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) final in Chennai on Thursday.
Chepauk coach Hemang Badani is optimistic of a good show from his boys. His optimism stems from the fact that he has an all-round team at his disposal, not to mention Vijay Shankar in its ranks. “We have done well throughout and been consistent to reach the final. All the boys are in good frame of mind and raring to go. I see no reason why we should not do well in the final.”
The former India batsman believes that Vijay will come out with flying colours in the final. “He has played a couple of games and is getting back his rhythm. He is a big-match specialist, and I am sure he will play a good knock. All the boys are keen to rally around him.”
The general pattern in this TNPL has been that teams that have done well have seen their openers notching up big runs in the powerplay. Dindigul have been the bellwether on this front, with skipper N Jagadeesan and Hari Nishaanth raking in solid scores. “Exploiting the powerplay is important. When you score some valuable runs without losing wickets, it helps the team,” said Chepauk skipper Kaushik Gandhi.
Badani feels that Chepauk have all their bases covered too. “That (openers) may be the trend. But we are a different side. We do not depend upon our openers alone. We have guys in almost every position who can contribute. I believe that Dindigul depend heavily on their openers. Once they depart, they will be under immense pressure, not us.”
Jagadeesan does not want to be drawn into mind-games. “We have done well in the group stage. The way we fought in the last few games gives us confidence. Not having R Ashwin is a big setback. As a captain, there will be pressure on me to deliver. But I’m sure our boys will put up a good show.”
The pitch was covered in the evening due to showers. So it is not clear how it may behave. During the league stage, experts had pegged 170 as a safe score at Chepauk. “In a final, you can never say what total is safe. It all boils down to how you get a start and capitalise on it,” said Badani.