Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad, Vidarbha in battle for pride

Vidarbha must beat Hyderabad either by an innings or by ten wickets and then hope for other results to end in its favour to stay in the hunt. Hyderabad faces relegation.

Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit and captain Faiz Fazal have a discussion during a training session in Hyderabad on Tuesday.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Two-time champion Vidarbha and bottom-placed Hyderabad will be engaged in what will be a battle for pride in the last league match of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from Wednesday.

For the record, Vidarbha (18 points from seven matches) must beat Hyderabad either by an innings or by ten wickets and then hope for various permutations and combinations to stay in the hunt for a knock-out berth.

Hyderabad faces the ignominy of relegation by having just six points so far from seven matches including one win and six losses.

Ganesh Satish, Vidarbha's leading run-getter this season, having a word with Yash Thakur on the eve of the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam


Not surprisingly, Hyderabad coach N. Arjun Yadav insists that nothing short of an outright win will save his team from avoiding that major embarrassment.

India World Cup (under-19) top-order batsman Tilak Varma, who was expected to make it to the squad for this match, is not available.

By all means, it has been a forgetful season so far with captain Tanmay Agarwal, wicketkeeper-batsman K. Sumanth and seasoned opener P. Akshath Reddy, who played a career-saving innings last match against Punjab here, batting well only in patches and the bowling fortunes invariably revolving around the pace trio of Ravi Kiran, Chama Milind and Ravi Teja. Spinners Saakath Sai Ram and Mehdi Hassan never really threatened to bowl out an opposition.

On the other hand, Vidarbha coach Chandrakant Pandit insists that the team wants to finish off the season on a high though it has not done really well in the last couple of games.

“But, we are not going to take this game lightly. Definitely, we will be playing for pride here. We are happy with the young talent has shaped up this season as part of team building measures for the coming seasons,” he concluded.

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