Poor catching made the difference, laments TN coach Kanitkar

Tamil Nadu had employed six bowlers for the Ranji Trophy match with four medium pacers and two spinners but struggled to bowl out Odisha after nearly six and half sessions.

Tamil Nadu fielders were culpable of dropped catches which went on to cost the side the game against Odisha in the Ranji Trophy match in Cuttack.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

With its shock result against Odisha in the Ranji Trophy match here on Sunday, Tamil Nadu faces an uphill task to qualify for the next two rounds but coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar came out strongly in support of his players.

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“I think the catching was what made the difference in this match. Apart from catching most of our performance was positive,” said Kanitkar.

Tamil Nadu had employed six bowlers for this match with four medium pacers and two spinners but struggled to bowl out the opposition after nearly six and half sessions.

“It was a good batting wicket and any bowler would find it difficult. I don't think we did any wrong with the ball. We just need to get better at consistency,” said the 42-year-old.

When asked if TN’s slow scoring on day two meant it did not get enough overs to pick wickets, Kanitkar said it was difficult to score runs and that the number of overs his side gave was enough.

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However, his team's slow over rate compounded the problems which meant TN could not get to bowl the maximum possible of 93 overs by schedule close of play on the last day and even had to take off its pacers after bowling six to seven overs with the third new ball.

But the former Ranji Trophy winning captain defended it saying, “You want to break the rhythm and slow it down when they are going well. But you can't think about cloud cover or calculate. We could have bowled faster but we had to think and take our time.”

Kanitkar also credited the Odisha batsmen’s effort praising the pacing of their innings. And one person who did that perfectly was man of the match Rajesh Dhuper. The wicketkeeper batsman was making his comeback to the side after two years and took the host home at the DRIEMS ground.

Dhuper said, “I was playing my normal game. I had faith in our tail -- Basant bhai, Suryakant Pradhan, and Alok Sahoo -- will deliver.” Dhuper came back into the side on the back of good scores in the U-23 tournament and said the one year he was outside the side helped him work on his batting and keeping.

Dhuper chased a wide ball and missed on a well deserved hundred being dismissed on 97. When asked about the shot with lot of overs remaining, he said, “I thought that was the last over since the light was fading so I went for it for the team’s sake.”