Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad upbeat despite inconsistent form

In the four rounds of the Ranji Trophy it has played so far, Hyderabad has won and lost a game each and conceded and taken lead. After such a topsy-turvy beginning to the season, the team is now hoping to find some consistency against Tripura.

Hyderabad coach Bharath Arun: 'We are in a very good frame of mind having taken a lot of confidence from the last game. We could have won... we are on the right track.'   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

In the four rounds of the Ranji Trophy it has played so far, Hyderabad has won and lost a game each and conceded and taken lead. After such a topsy-turvy beginning to the season, the team is now hoping to find some consistency in its performance against Tripura in the Group C match, at the Karnail Singh Stadium here, starting Saturday.

The team has managed to get some big scores and wickets but has also faltered in closing out games. Bad light and planning forced a draw with the team 12 runs away from its second outright win in its previous game against Himachal Pradesh, after having cleaned up the opposition for 36 in the first innings. That result, however, had given the team confidence in its abilities, insisted coach Bharath Arun.

“We are in a very good frame of mind having taken a lot of confidence from the last game. We could have won but for the conditions and shows we are on the right track. Yes we have had quite a mixed bag so far but I think it’s only good to go through both the highs and the lows early on. We now know what we need to do to be more consistent in the coming games,” Arun said.

There is not much the team has done wrong, actually, barring a below-par contribution from captain Subramaniam Badrinath so far. Balchander Anirudh, Akshath Reddy and Bavanaka Sandeep have been among the runs and medium pacers Mohammad Siraj and Ravi Kiran and left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan have equally shared the wickets and would again be the key. “I am not too worried about Badrinath, he has the experience and has been in good nick. It’s a matter of one big knock and that’s not a concern,” Arun added.

Tripura, on the other hand, won (against Services) its first first-class game in four seasons and has been one of the surprise packages this season barring a collapse in the opener against debutant Chhatisgarh. Gurinder Singh, moving from Punjab for his first-class debut, has led with the bat along with former Gujarat batsman Smit Patel. Yashpal Singh, pillar of Services’ batting for more than a decade, adds experience in the middle.

Gurinder has also performed with the ball where medium pacer Rana Datta is the leader with 20 wickets so far. Captain Manisankar Murasingh is one of the more experienced with the ball.

The teams (from):

Hyderabad: Subramaniam Badrinath, Tanmay Agarwal, Akshath Reddy, Mohammad Siraj, Balchander Anirudh, Bavanaka Sandeep, Himalaya Agarwal, Kolla Sumanth, Ravi Kiran, C.V. Milind, Mehdi Hasan, Vishal Sharma, Benjamin Thomas, Mudassar Hussain, Habib Ahmed, Akash Bhandari.

Tripura: Manisankar Murasingh, Udiyan Bose, Yashpal Singh, Saurabh Das, Abhijit Dey, Rajat Dey, Bishal Ghosh, Gurinder Singh, Sanjay Majumder, Smit Patel, Chiranjit Paul, Rana Datta, Bunti Roy, Aniruddha Saha, Abhijit Sarkar, Ajoy Sarkar, Nirupam Sen Chowdhary, Samrat Singha.

Other matches (Group C):

>Andhra v Services in Indore

Chhattisgarh v Goa in Cuttack

Himachal v Jammu & Kashmir in Ranchi

>Kerala v Haryana in Jaipur