Uttar Pradesh was drawn in a tough group from which Gujarat would make history. Mumbai was as strong as ever, but there was resistance from teams like Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Bengal. A consistent outfit like Baroda did not rise to expectations, and Gujarat made the most of it.
Read: Ranji Trophy in need of revival
Read: Ranji Trophy in numbers
For Uttar Pradesh, nothing seemed to work right, as it finished seventh in the nine-team group. It began the season on a poor note, losing by an innings to Madhya Pradesh. Draws against Tamil Nadu and Bengal allowed the team to settle down, but consecutive defeats to Gujarat, Punjab and Mumbai completely demoralised the dressing room. Uttar Pradesh’s only victory came against Railways in the penultimate round of the Group A fixtures, and it finished the tournament with a draw against Baroda.
Read: Ranji travel anecdotes!
Read: Karnataka - Batting is the weak link
Read: Mumbai's quest for title No. 42
Suresh Raina was available for only three matches, and that, to a large extent, jeopardised the team’s batting.
Veteran Praveen Kumar figured in only two matches, as Uttar Pradesh tried to raise a team of newcomers. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav (35 wickets) and medium-pacer Imtiaz Ahmed (25 wickets) served the team well, but Uttar Pradesh was let down by its batsmen who lacked consistency.
Read: Tamil Nadu needs to handle crunch situations better
Read: Delhi looking to retain lost glory
Read: Saurashtra - Batsmen should step up
Yadav was also the top run-getter with an aggregate of 466 runs. The season underlined Uttar Pradesh’s need to put more faith in the youngsters.
Read: Baroda - Experienced players should show the way
Read: Can Gujarat make it two on the bounce?
Read: Jharkhand a good mix of youth and experience
Suresh Raina (captain): “We are looking forward to a good season. We are in a tough group but we have some good youngsters who can be expected to perform. Consistency will be the key, obviously. We have had a decent preparatory camp and aim to exploit the home conditions to stake our claims.”
Last season: Failed to qualify for the knock-out.
Latest on Sportstar
- French Open 2023: Swiatek to face Gauff in quarterfinals after Tsurenko retires unwell
- French Open 2023: Rune beats Cerundolo in final set tiebreak, sets up quarterfinal rematch with Ruud
- Seven punished by Spanish government for racist insults against Vinicius
- Nacho, Fati called up to Spain squad for Nations League finals
- Asian U20 Athletics Championship: Shivam bags silver in javelin throw; Shakeel wins bronze in 800m