Ranji Trophy: Mukund shines with third ton of the season

Abhinav Mukund's third hundred of this Ranji season could not have come at a more opportune moment for Tamil Nadu as it made 337 in the first innings, gaining a mammoth lead of 243 against Baroda.

abhinav mukund

Abhinav Mukund's judgment of line was good against Baroda, so was his selection of shots.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Abhinav Mukund has grown in stature this season, both as a batsman and a leader. His century here on a greenish pitch assisting seamers was one of technique and composure.

From the team’s perspective, the left-hander shouldered responsibility as captain. His third hundred of this Ranji season could not have come at a more opportune moment for Tamil Nadu.

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Riding on Abhinav’s 100 (165b, 13x4) B. Indrajith's 68 (166b, 5x4) and Dinesh Karthik's 65 (102b, 6x4), Tamil Nadu made 337 in the first innings, gaining a mammoth lead of 243 runs against Baroda at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Stadium here on Sunday.

Baroda ended the day at 44 without loss after paceman Aswin Crist put down a difficult return catch off opener Kedar Devdhar in the first over.

There now is some assistance for spinners in this pitch and the odd delivery is tending to keep low.

In the morning, Abhinav was the cynosure, both in the manner he left deliveries outside off from the pacemen and the way he met deliveries with a straight blade unless the length was short.

The opener picked the length capably and got himself into good positions. His bat came down straighter enabling him cope with movement better. His judgment of line was good, so was his selection of shots.

Against the spinners, Abhinav was not averse to using his feet and employing the lofted shots. It was an innings of substance and responsibility.

Mukund’s 147-run partnership for the second wicket in 270 deliveries with B. Indrajith was the back-bone of the innings.

A well organised batsman, Indrajith got behind the line and batted in a manner that was pleasing. His back-lift may be elaborate but Indrajith is quickly on to the ball. The right-hander was secure in defence and measured in offence.

Karthik applied himself, found himself batting with the tail and was the last man dismissed. When he played punishing strokes, he did so with panache.

A back-footed punch square off Munaf was a top shot from Karthik. Otherwise, Munaf impressed with his precision and seam movement. Vijay Shankar and N. Jagadeesan looked promising but could not progress to a weighty score.

Jagadeesan was drawn into an on-field spat with left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh after being castled but the umpires quickly stepped in to control the situation.