Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad aims for consistency against Himachal

With a seasoned captain in S. Badrinath, a well-known coach in Bharat Arun at the helm, and a bunch of talented players at its disposal, Hyderabad is keen to bring back its days of glory.

Hyderabad captain Subramanian Badrinath will be looking to get more runs on the board.   -  V.V Subrahmanyam

With a seasoned captain in S. Badrinath, a well-known coach in Bharat Arun at the helm, and a bunch of talented players at its disposal, Hyderabad is keen to bring back its days of glory.

It is easier said than done though.

In the current Ranji Trophy season, Hyderabad has won one match against Goa, lost one versus Haryana and conceded first innings lead to Kerala to be sixth with seven points in Group C. When it takes on Himachal Pradesh at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium here from Thursday, Hyderabad will seek to show some consistency.

Arun says the team's batting requires improvement. “It is time to plug a few areas. Our bowling has been good, there is a lot of discipline. We need to better our batting,” said the Hyderabad coach.

Hyderabad's batting has got depth. So far, B. Sandeep, B. Anirudh and Akshath Reddy have played some good knocks. All-rounder Mehdi Hasan has come up with some useful contributions as well. The top order, including opener Tanmay Agarwal and Badrinath, needs to raise their performances a few notches.

Arun feels that Badrinath's presence has helped the side. “Badri is extremely experienced, he is sharing his experience. He has a calming influence in the dressing room.”

Apart from left-arm spinner Hasan, who has picked up 12 wickets so far, medium pacer Mohammad Siraj, with 10 wickets, has provided breakthroughs for Hyderabad on a regular basis.

Seamers Ravi Kiran and C.V. Milind and off-spinner Vishal Agarwal and leg-spinner Akash Bhandari offer variety.

Himachal, which secured a first innings lead and an outright victory before conceding lead in its last match against Tripura, is fourth with eight points. The team would like its batsmen — including Ankush Bains, Prashant Chopra, Nikhil Gangta, Paras Dogra, Robin Bist and Sumeet Verma — to play to their potential and post even bigger totals.

All-rounders in skipper Rishi Dhawan and Mayank Dagar give the side a lot of balance.

Led by Dhawan, the pace attack has some effective customers in Pankaj Jaswal, Akshay Chauhan and Kanwar Abhinay. With left-armer Dagar, off-spinner Gurvinder Singh gives the bowling department a formidable look.

The pitch, flashing some dry grass, has assisted pacers in previous encounters and produced results. Even though the track has not been unfair to spinners, an 8:45 a.m. start makes toss and the role of seamers crucial factors in the contest.

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