Ranji Trophy: TN coach and captain admit bowling was team's weak spot

Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund and coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said the side's inability to bowl out its oppositions largely affected its 2017 Ranji Trophy campaign.

Tamil Nadu lost against Baroda on Tuesday and the side finished fifth in the group, just above Tripura and Odisha, and failed to record a single outright win this season.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund and coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar were unanimous in their view that the side’s failure to bowl out opposition’s lower order has cost them the Ranji Trophy season.

“We were not able to finish off the tail this year. There has been some good performances here and there but we did not have one stand out performance. These are some of the obvious shortcomings,” said Abhinav.

When asked if he could have done some things differently, the skipper said, “In hindsight I would say we could have, maybe tried a part-timer or so. But when the opening bowlers can get the top five, you tend to believe they can get the bottom five. So I don't have any regrets in not trying anything. I have tried everything on the field.”

READ: TN’s annus horribilis ends in abject surrender

Kanitkar added, “We were very inconsistent in terms of performances and we went back to performing below our level. We couldn't sustain the good we did.”

“Too often we had the opposition five down and we let them get away from us. In good batting conditions we were often five or six down for 80 and it was happening every game. Instead of grabbing the chances like we did last year, say when it was important to play out a session, we failed to do so.”

The coach conceded the team often took the foot off the pedal from strong positions and let the opposition come into the game. “At crucial stages, when they were five or six down, we gave away boundaries. Within three or four overs they got 20-25 runs. Those five boundaries or 30 runs make huge difference when you look at it now.”

“These are small things but they need to be addressed and worked upon so that it doesn't happen next year. I will talk to the concerned people and see what we can do about it.”