Ranji Trophy 2023-24 semifinals: Tamil Nadu skipper Sai Kishore joins elite 50-wicket club, earns high praise from Shardul Thakur

Sai Kishore became only the third bowler from Tamil Nadu to go past 50 wickets in the season when he dismissed Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane during the second day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal.

Published : Mar 03, 2024 18:58 IST , MUMBAI - 2 MINS READ

Tamil Nadu’s Sai Kishore in action during Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Mumbai.
Tamil Nadu’s Sai Kishore in action during Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Mumbai. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI/THE HINDU
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Tamil Nadu’s Sai Kishore in action during Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Mumbai. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI/THE HINDU

Skipper R. Sai Kishore has led from the front for Tamil Nadu often this season, and he stood tall again in the semifinal with a fine spell that got his team a sniff of a chance of forging a fightback before it went downhill.

But despite a brutal day on the field for the visitors and irrespective of whether TN progresses ahead, it has been a remarkable season for the 27-year-old.

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When he dismissed Ajinkya Rahane, caught at first slip with a typical left-arm spinner delivery that spun and bounced to the right-hander, Sai Kishore became only the third bowler from the state to go past 50 wickets in the season.

Former India skipper and a member of the famous spin quartet S. Venkataraghavan (58 wickets in 1972-73) and Ashish Kapoor (50 in 1999-2000) are the two others to have achieved this feat.

As he did in the quarterfinals against Saurashtra, Sai bowled through a session and bit more after Lunch on day two (22-6-51-4), during which he got his side back in the hunt.

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“The ball came out really well, and I gave my best on the field. I am grateful to the almighty for that to happen,” said Sai Kishore after the day’s play.

With 53 wickets to his name at an average of 18.49, Sai leads the wicket charts in the Ranji Trophy this year, but he added, “Honestly, I don’t go after wickets, whether 30, 50, or 60. All that matters is the championship, and I am going for it. There are 11 more wickets to go (in this match).”

On a day when no other bowler from the other end offered much support or looked threatening, Sai bowled with control and the right pace to keep the Mumbai batters on their toes. 

His efforts even drew praise from centurion Shardul Thakur, a former Chennai Super Kings teammate who said, “He was bowling really well. After a long time, I could see a quality left-arm spinner coming up after Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja).”

MOST WICKETS FOR TAMIL NADU IN RANJI TROPHY
58: S. Venkataraghavan (1972-73)
53*: R. Sai Kishore (2023-24)
50: Ashish Kapoor (1999-2000)

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