Ranji Trophy 2019-20: It's perform or perish for Hyderabad

Led by Tanmay Agarwal, Hyderabad will clash in the fourth round of Ranji Trophy 2019-20 against Kerala at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Friday.

Kerala captain Sachin Baby (left) and Robin Uthappa at the training session on the eve of the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

Hyderabad and Kerala will clash in the fourth round of the Ranji Trophy Elite Pool match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from Friday.

With three points from three games, Kerala is marginally better placed than the home team which is yet to open its account on the points table after three straight defeats.

Not the kind of start Hyderabad coach, N. Arjun Yadav, would have looked for, specially after all the criticism on selection front. The biggest concern is the poor form of opener P. Akshath Reddy and southpaw B. Sandeep. With these two not firing in the top-order, new captain Tanmay Agarwal is left to fend for himself. The bowlers lacked support with no challenging scores.

With the exception of Tanmay, wicketkeeper-batsman K. Sumanth and the odd contribution from left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan, there is nothing to boast about the batting so far.

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Even in the bowling department, pacers Mohammed Siraj (10 wickets from three games), Ravi Kiran (7 wickets from two games) and Chama Milind (4 wickets from three games) are not consistently posing any major challenge to the opposition.

Clearly, it is perform or perish situation for Hyderabad.

On the other hand, Kerala will look at the experienced duo of Robin Uthappa and captain Sachin Baby in batting to come good for a turn-around in the fortunes.

Off-spinning all-rounder Jalaj Saxena has been the best bowler for Kerala so far with 18 wickets and will hold the key. The pace duo of Sandeep Warrier and Basil Thampi also possess the arsenal to cause early breakthroughs.

It is likely to be a dry wicket and the toss will be crucial.

The team

Hyderabad: Tanmay Agarwal (capt), P. Akshath Reddy, B. Sandeep, Himalay Agarwal, K. Sumanth (wk), Mehdi Hasan, Tanay Thyagarajan, C.V. Milind, Mohd Siraj, Yudhveer Singh, Saaketh Sai Ram, J. Mallikarjun (wk), T. Ravi Teja, M. Ravi Kiran, Mir Jaweed Ali and Y. Shravan Kumar.

Kerala: Sachin Baby (capt), Robin Uthappa, Vishnu Vinod, Rohan Prem, Salman Nisar, P. Rahul, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sijomon Joseph, Jalaj Saxena, Basil Thampi, Sandeep S. Warrier, K.M. Asif, Akshay Chandran, S. Midhun, M.D. Nidheesh and Vinoop S. Manoharan.

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