No team wants to enter the knockout phase of a tournament untested or unprepared in any way. The unbelievable form of its opening combination means Tamil Nadu will take on Saurashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal with its middle order woefully short of game time.
Coach M. Venkatramana admitted it was a bit of a concern but was confident it will not hinder Tamil Nadu too much in its quest to regain the Vijay Hazare Trophy after five seasons.
“That’s one area we are trying to fill up. That is why we do the additional hard work in the nets and take the extra bit of care to avoid such situations. I know sometimes when the top-order is in ominous forms, some of the other batters are short of match time. It is definitely a bit of a worry. But we have addressed it in the nets,” Venkatramana told Sportstar on Sunday.
“Apar (B. Aparajith) and Inder (B. Indrajith) got a reasonably good hit in the last 10 overs against Arunachal Pradesh. If it comes to them and the lower order lifting the side up in the final stage, I am sure the boys will be up for it. We should be okay.”
Lead pacer Sandeep Warrier’s high economy rate (6.37) is another worrying aspect for Tamil Nadu. But Venkatramana backed the seasoned campaigner. “Sometimes in the quest for wickets, bowlers tend to give away extra runs up front but Sandeep has come back strong in the latter spells. Every bowler will go through that at some point. Overall, I feel he has done reasonably well,” he said.