Bengal will take heart from its turnaround victory over Baroda in the season opener when it meets Hyderabad in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match at the Barabati Stadium from Thursday.
Hyderabad, too, will be positive after registering a big win over Chandigarh in its first engagement.
Bengal will have some advantage as Hyderabad will miss the services of Hanuma Vihari, who left to join the Indian team, and left-arm pacer C.V. Milind, who is unavailable due to an injury. Having played its first match at the Barabati, Bengal will feel at home at the venue.
Bengal skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran said his side would utilize the lessons learnt from the first match. “We will try and get better because we have played in these conditions and know how the pitch behaves,” said Easwaran.
“Always good to come from behind and win a match. That gets the team together and builds confidence,” said Abhimanyu about Bengal’s fightback after getting all out for 88 in the first innings.
The Bengal batters would like to put up a better show. Abhimanyu, Sudeep Gharami, Anustup Majumdar and Manoj Tiwary would like to improve upon their performances.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz Ahmed and Abishek Porel would be bubbling with confidence after their match-winning contributions.
On a track similar to the one used in the first match, Easwaran felt there would be some assistance for the pace department, consisting of Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep. They would like to carry on their superb teamwork.
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Hyderabad has a good mix of youth and experience. With seasoned players like captain Tanmay Agarwal, Ravi Teja and Akshath Reddy forming the bulk of the side, the team has some talented youngsters including Tilak Varma and Rakshann Readdi, the fast bowler who captured eight wickets in his debut against Chandigarh.
Hyderabad has the luxury of having several all-rounders and quality batsmen.
“The boys have understood how to execute the plans on these kinds of pitches. It was a very good start. I am hopeful (of a good result),” said Hyderabad coach Milap Mewada.
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