Ranji: Under-pressure TN faces an uphill task

Published: Thursday, November 22, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Chennai: Having failed to exploit the home advantage in the first two matches, the under-pressure Tamil Nadu sans their ace batsman Karthik face an uphill task when they take on the confident Karnataka in their crucial Ranji Trophy Super League Group-A tie to be played at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here morrow.
Tamil Nadu boasting of a young and talented squad in the new 2007-2008 season, failed to force a first innings lead against Maharashtra and succumbed meekly to reigning champions Mumbai by eight wickets, to manage just one point shared in the unfinished match against Maharashtra.
On the contrary, Karnataka managed to collect a point in their first match against Mumbai and registered an outright win by an innings to pocket full points along with a bonus in the second match against Himachal Pradesh and arrived here cock-a-hoop.
Tamil Nadu's task will be all the more tough with their Team India star Dinesh Karthik away. He was the one who resisted the Mumbai bowlers especially off-spinner Ramesh Powar in both the innings along with R Srinivasan, the promising star and R Ashwin, who also spearheaded the bowling with his off-spin along with left-armer Ramkumar in the tie against Mumbai.
With captain S Badrinath still looking to strike his phenomenal form of last year, which earned him a call to the national squad in the ODI albeit not being played in the XI, Srinivasan, Ashwin and Ramkumar hold key for Tamil Nadu chances.
Badri, however, is confident of the team fareing well. ''We are trying to put the last two matches behind,'' he added. ''I don't think there would be any pressure on us as we have some more matches in the Super League. We will just go there and play our game,'' the prolific scorer of last the season observed.
Badrinath said Karnataka may be feeling the absence of the experienced Kumble and Dravid. ''They may lack experience, but they are still a good side. They have played well so far,'' he said.
About the conditions, Badri said the wicket at the M A Chidambaram stadium looks good. ''There is no sign of any wear and tear as the game progresses. It should last all the four days,'' he averred.
On his own form, Badrinath, who is yet to get off with a big score said he was satisfied with the form. If I get some more runs, it will help'', he added.
Karnataka too will be missig skipper Anil Kumble, who will be making his debut as India's Test captain in the first of the three tests against Pakistan at New Delhi, and Rahul Dravid whose brilliant double century saved the match against Mumbai.
In the absence of Kumble,  Yere Goud would be leading Karnataka who by way of strength in the batting line up would be having Robin Uthappa, the ODI star.
Karnataka have seven points from two matches.


Read more about: domestic cricket, karnataka, ranji, tn
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