CHENNAI: Despite the absence of some key players, Tamil Nadu managed to win all the five matches in the league stage to advance to the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 meet. And TN coach, D Vasu, heaped praise on his charges.
“It was a fantastic show by the team. Without some key players we took one match at a time. But honestly I never thought we would win all the games in this manner. Credit to the boys to have come out with a stupendous show. We hope to carry forward the momentum into the quarterfinals,’’ said Divakar Vasu.
The knockouts (TN played their league matches in Kolkata) are at Ahmedabad where the conditions are different. R Ashwin and Washington Sundar are not available due to the England series. Vijay Shankar is injured and ruled out of the tournament. T Natarajan too is doubtful as the BCCI is yet to give the nod for him to play. They will face Himachal for a place in the semifinals.
“The boys have performed well as a unit. Shankar was injured during the league round at Kolkata. We can only control what is in our hands. The team did well in the league phase and we are confident of carrying forward the momentum,’’ insisted the former NCA coach.
Is the team worried that the law of averages may catch up? “In T20 anything can happen. We are not worried about law of averages. We planned well for every game in the league round and all our plans were executed well. So in the quarterfinals if the boys play to potential and stick to the plans certainly we will advance in the tournament,’’ said an optimistic Vasu.
In the league round, they did not stick to one playing XI. They are expected to continue this policy. “We choose the playing XI based on conditions and opposition. We picked Sonu Yadav because he can bowl well to left handers. Later Aswin Crist came and did well. So it’s all about teamwork and not about individuals. The players understand this and thus we are able to achieve results,’’ he explained.