Tamil Nadu will fancy its chances for an outright win against a confident Chhattisgarh when the two sides meet at the Nehru Stadium in their second outing of the Elite Group H Ranji Trophy that begins on Thursday.
TN pulled off a heist when it chased down Delhi’s first-innings total of 452 after being reduced to 162-5 at one stage after Shahrukh Khan (194) and B. Indrajith (117) produced counter-attacking hundreds to help the team get three points for taking the lead.
Chhattisgarh is the only team in the group with six points after its eight-wicket win over Jharkhand in a low-scoring encounter. The other teams in this group now need an outright win in their remaining two fixtures.
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Chhattisgarh coach Devendra Bundela said, “We are in a positive frame of mind and played as a team in the first match. To have an outright win with just three games is a big advantage and we are hoping to do the same.”
However, all eyes will be on the pitch and how it plays will determine the course of the match considering the last game here ended in less than three days.
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While a different strip will be used for this match, it is widely expected to assist spinners and TN coach M. Venkatramana said his side is happy to play the next two matches here.
“The conditions here are something our players are used to. I feel confident going into the next two matches and we want to get at least one if not two outright wins,” said the former India off-spinner.
To take advantage of the conditions, TN is likely to draft in left-arm spinner M. Siddharth for pacer Saravana Kumar alongside R. Sai Kishore. A lot will ride on these two spinners with B. Aparajith expected to chip in with his off-spin.
Venkatramana said, “Our spinners need to be aggressive and attacking, not just contain, giving the ball air to get wickets. Similarly, if one of the batters gets a start, they should make it count and we should try to bat only once.”