Kolkata: The Bengal vs Vidarbha match, slated to be played at the Kalyani Stadium beginning on Thursday had promised of a clash between two of India’s best pacers-Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami.
But with the both of them not taking part in the Group D clash of the Ranji Trophy, the fixture has lost it’s shine and now, it has turned into a low-profile encounter. According to a report in Sportstar live, Wriddhiman Saha was cleared by the BCCI to participate in the match but both Umesh and Shami didn’t get the clearance as the Indian board wants to give them some rest ahead of the home Test series against Sri Lanka.
Bengal, placed third in Group D with 13 points looked good to get all six points against Himachal Pradesh in their last match played at the Eden Gardens. But some late resistance from the opposition denied Bengal a win and ultimately they had to settle for just three points. Skipper Manoj Tiwary was still happy with the way his team played and hoped that his side would get the desired result in this clash against Vidarbha.
But Sairaj Bahutule’s side would be without the services of Mohammad Shami, who has bowled beautifully in tandem with speedster Ashok Dinda and had even scalped five wickets in Bengal’s last match. Nonetheless, they would still be boosted by his presence as the right-arm quickie has travelled with the team to Kalyani.
Appreciating this decision, Tiwary said, “It will be good for our bowling unit. His (Shami) experience will come handy.”
He also said that his team would aim to take three points from this match first, before looking for more.
“The team is looking good. We’re all geared up for the match.We’ll try to fetch the maximum points, but at first we want to ensure three points.”
Bengal has had a good tournament so far. Their batsmen have performed well with the likes of Abhishek Raman, Sudip Chatterjee, Abhimanyu Easwaran and the captain himself being amongst the runs. On the bowling front, Mohammad Shami and Ashok Dinda have done the maximum damage as the duo have hunted in pairs and have broken the back of the opposition batting on a number of occasions.
After the draw against Himachal Pradesh, Bahutule praised the team effort and ahead of the crucial match against Vidarbha, he said, “Vidarbha is a balanced side. They are having a momentum with them. But our boys are ready to take the challenge. Whenever we face a strong team, our boys raise their game and make sure we play good cricket.”
Barring Mohammad Shami, the other change in the Bengal bowling unit would be the inclusion of Ishan Porel in place of Mukesh Kumar, who has been injured. Ishan, who has also been selected in the U-19 Challenger Trophy drew praise from Tiwary who said, “Ishan is a talened young bowler with good height and pace. He played really well in U-23s.”