Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Andhra, Tamil Nadu eye first wins

Andhra and Tamil Nadu are third and fourth in Group B, the latter gaining two points from the two drawn fixtures so far.

Ricky Bhui hit centuries against Punjab and Kerala in Andhra's first two Group B fixtures.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Two teams that have had mixed fortunes - Andhra and Tamil Nadu - will be hoping for a change in luck as they lock horns in the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the C. S. R. Sarma College grounds here on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu will be under a bit of pressure after having garnered only two points from as many matches in Dindigul and Tirunelveli. The home advantage did not favour the team in both the games for different reasons - weather in the first and surface in the second.

The big plus for Tamil Nadu, however, was its courageous performance in the second match against Hyderabad to avoid conceding the first innings lead. Abhinav Mukund and N. Jagadeesan came up with fighting centuries to secure a draw, and the effort should augur well for Tamil Nadu as it plays away from home for the first time this season.

“We are taking forward a lot of positives from the first two games. We are hopeful that the desired results will follow suit eventually,” said B. Indrajith, the Tamil Nadu captain.

Read: Mumbai, Karnataka face off in battle of heavyweights

He observed that the wicket will help the pacers a little bit. “We have not finalised the combination. We might play an extra pacer tomorrow based on the wicket condition in the morning,” he said.

Coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar who could not travel with the team to Tirunelveli due to personal reasons has made it here, boosting the morale of the team.

“The start has to be strong for deriving advantage. We need to be very smart to seize the opportunities. If that could be done it will be a good match for us,” he said.

Andhra opened its campaign in Visakhapatnam in fine fashion by securing three points against Punjab. But, after suffering a nine-wicket loss against Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, it will be
looking to bounce back at home.

“We have not carried the thought of our loss to Kerala, but I have told my boys that we should not repeat the mistakes,” said B. Sumanth, the Andhra skipper.

He also sounded confident about his team’s chances against Tamil Nadu. “Last year we took the first innings lead against them. We are going into the game with a positive frame of mind,” he said.

The teams (from)

Andhra: B. Sumanth (captain), D.B Prashanth, Vijay Kumar, Karn Sharma, Ashwin Hebbar, D.B. Ravi Teja, Ricky Bhui, Siva Charan Singh (wk), Karthik Raman, K.V. Sasikanth, Girinath Reddy, Ayyappa, Shoaib Khan, Jyothi Krishna, Stephen and G. Manish

Tamil Nadu: B. Indrajith (captain), Abhinav Mukund, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Shahrukh
Khan, K. Vignesh, B. Anirudh Sitaram, C. V. Varun, B. Aparajith, M. Kaushik Gandhi, R. Rohith (wk), M. Mohammed, J. Kousik, Rahil Shah, R. Sai Kishore, T. Natarajan and Abhishek Tanwar