Abhinav Mukund loves to play freely but on a low turning track it becomes increasingly difficult. However, the Tamil Nadu star stood the test in a brave manner to score an unbeaten century (101, 239b, 15x4) against Hyderabad on the penultimate day of its Ranji Trophy match at the Sankar Cements grounds on Wednesday.
He knows for sure it is not enough as there is a bigger task ahead of scoring over 400 runs on the final day. But Abhinav wants to see how the first session goes and plan thereafter.
“If we have wickets in hand then anything can happen,” he said and was quick to add that he would have loved to play on the this track on the first day.
Earlier, Hyderabad, after adding another 42 runs declared at 565 for eight well inside the first hour.
Its skipper Akshath Reddy, who had battled hard for over two days, finally chanced his arm to paceman Mohammed only to spoon a catch to Abhinav at long on.
Chasing a rather mammoth total for a possible first innings lead, Tamil Nadu openers Kaushik Gandhi and Abhinav started on a positive note.
They knew they had to give it a start to turnaround the team’s fortunes. And, they did that well by stitching a partnership of 80 before left-arm pacer C.V. Milind applied the brakes by removing Kaushik.
The latter read the line wrong and saw the ball kissing his off-stump.
A few overs later, Milind struck again with a low full toss that Aparajith played it back to the bowler. It was a difficult chance but the bowler lunged forward to take the catch.
With two players back in the hut, it was left to skipper Baba Indrajith and the free-flowing Abhinav to plug the gap. They did that quite nicely by playing cautiously to help the team finish the day at 163 for two.
“It would have been nice if we had put 240 or more on board. We usually play at three runs an over but it was difficult to score of the spinners as the ball was keeping low. Our square shots were going straight to the fielders, also, we were not able to time the ball but I am satisfied to have come out unbeaten at the end,” Abhinav said.