Ranji Trophy: Jagadeesan, Kaushik take TN to 547-7

A stroke-filled century by Jagadeesan (118) on his first class debut and a maiden ton from Kaushik Gandhi (157) helped Tamil Nadu compile a mammoth 547 for 7 against Madhya Pradesh on Friday.

Kaushik Gandhi, Tamil Nadu, Ranji Trophy, against Madhya Pradesh, domestic cricket

Kaushik Gandhi of Tamil Nadu scored his maiden first-class centuryfor Tamil Nadu, in Cuttack on Friday.   -  Rayan Rozario

Kaushik Gandhi (157, 24x4) played the big knock of his life and, so did N. Jagadeesan (118, 8x4, 2x6) as Tamil Nadu compiled a mammoth 547 for seven against Madhya Pradesh in a Group A Ranji Trophy tie at the DRIEMS College grounds here on Friday.

>Scorecard

It was a stroke-filled century by Jagadeesan on his first class debut. It was also an innings of great character by this young man from Coimbatore. His maturity and confidence were quite evident the way he selected his shots.

He slapped those loose deliveries, which came in occasionally, and let go the ones that stood up. He hoisted offie Shubham Sharma for a huge six when on 90 and later stole a cheeky two for a well-deserved ton as his teammates joined him in celebration.

For the record, K.B. Arun Karthik was the last Tamil Nadu batsman to score a century on debut. And, it came in November 2008 against a mighty Karnataka side.

Kaushik, on the other hand, scored his maiden ton in a first-class career that began seven years ago. He had been in and out of the team for some time now but he did not let that bother him and was duly rewarded today.

The pitch had good pace and carry earlier on but Kaushik, overnight 71, tackled the MP seamers with ease. After seeing through the first session, the 26-year-old cover-drove paceman Mukul Raghav to the fence for his century. He certainly would have dedicated it to his father, whom he lost quite early in life. “He was a good cricketer and an umpire. My game itself is a tribute to him. I started playing only because of him,” he told the other day after steering his team to safety.

It took Kaushik 276 balls to bring up his century but numbers do not matter as he walked in at a time when the team was precariously placed at one for 2.

Kaushik was also instrumental in building two vital century partnerships. He stitched the first (144) with Dinesh Karthik and stood strong to string another (125) with the in-form B. Indrajith (68), who played freely for some time before offering a simple chance to gloveman Ankit Dane off the bowling of Ashwin Das.

With the scorecard looking good, it was a pressure-free first-class debut for N. Jagadeesan. The gritty cricketer, who had captained the State side in almost all age-group categories, used his feet well from the start.

His balance and timing was good and he also showed the desire and willingness to learn from his senior partner. Both Jagadeesan and Kaushik scored 90 runs for the sixth wicket before the latter played on to a Das delivery that did a bit. But for MP, the damage had already been done.