Andhra needs to play with more intent against Services in the Ranji Trophy Group E match at the KCA-St.Xavier’s College ground on Thursday to harbour any hopes of reaching the next round. 

After succumbing to a 158-defeat at the hands of Rajasthan in the first match, Andhra has to beat Services to keep its slim hopes alive. Any other result will effectively end its run.

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Against Rajasthan, Andhra had its moments but it failed to seize the opportunities and paid the price. Though the bowlers did their part, the batters failed to compliment their efforts in the match against Rajasthan. There were a couple of ill-judged strokes by Andhra batters in both the innings against Rajasthan. A more disciplined approach by the batters will put them in good stead against Services. 

Andhra will miss its captain K.S. Bharat, who was drafted into the Indian team for the Test series against Sri Lanka. However, it will be boosted by the inclusion of India Under-19 star batter Shaik Rasheed who will definitely lend stability to the top-order.

Stand-in skipper Ricky Bhui, who showed shades of returning to top notch form in the match against Rajasthan, will have to play an influential role against Services.

The familiarity with the conditions will give Andhra a slight edge over Services which also needs to regroup after its heavy loss to Uttarakhand in the first match.

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Services also finds itself in a similar situation like Andhra as it also needs a win to stay alive in the competition. The Services side needs to shore up its batting if it wants to be competitive against Andhra. The pitch will test its batters and they will have to rise to the occasion.