Jaipur: Bengal’s chances of upstaging the defending champions Gujarat in the quarters of the Ranji Trophy in Jaipur received a major jolt as their vice-captain Sudip Chatterjee’s participation remains a doubt due to illness.
The left-hander had played a crucial role for Bengal in the group phase of the tournament as he registered two back-to-back centuries in the first two matches. Ever since then, his form has seen a dip but his presence in the top-order of Bengal’s batting unit is indeed necessary ahead of such an important game. In case he fails to recover in time, Anustup Majumdar, who scored centuries in both the innings against Goa in Kolkata, might get to bat at number three.
But Bengal’s bowling would definitely be bolstered by the return of the young Ishan Porel. The youngster’s availability for the clash was initially doubtful as he was a contender for a place in the Indian squad for the U-19 World Cup. The speedster was impressive in both the games that he played and he would now team up with veteran Ashoke Dinda and look forward to rattle the opposition.
Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary was a confident man ahead of the clash as he said, “We have worked really hard during the league phase and whatever was decided during the team meeting be it the strategies, the basics or the improvements we stuck to it. I feel that is the reason we could come up to the quarterfinals and all we hope is to deliver to our best.”
“As a captain I feel that consistency and determination is the key and all of us are gearing up to perform well. It is the team’s decision to refrain from putting extra pressure on the mind of the players and let them play their natural game so that we can get the best out of these cricketers. We want to make sure of the fact that these individuals play with no extra baggage bothering their natural game. We have done a good homework and are hopeful our hardwork and dedication will pay off,” he also said.
But their opposition-Gujarat is indeed a threat to reckon with. Having batsmen like Priyank Panchal in their ranks, the defending champions have won five out of their six matches and are looking good to make it to the semi-final.
Tiwary is well aware of the fact that his would have to give their very best to stand a chance against the Parthiv Patel led side.
“Gujarat to mention the least has displayed good performance and consistency throughout the season and we are excited that we will be playing the defending champions of the last season. We expect a good match and want to play good cricket. We feel that if we have to face them we have to be at our very best and that is all we are looking forward to,” added the Bengal skipper.