Ranji Trophy Plate 2018-19: Bihar hosts Sikkim sans captain Ojha

A stiff shoulder has ruled out Pragyan Ojha, in whose absence Babul Kumar will lead Bihar. Arunachal, Manipur and Mizoram are at home in the fourth round of Ranji Trophy fixtures.

The Sikkim cricket team after beating Nagaland in the second round of the Ranji Trophy in Dimpaur.   -  SIKKIM CRICKET ASSOCIATION

As Bihar takes on Sikkim in a Ranji Trophy Plate group match at the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium in Patna from Wednesday, it will be missing the services of its captain Pragyan Ojha.

The spinner has been ruled out due to a stiff shoulder and in his absence, Babul Kumar will lead the side.

After reaching the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Bihar did not have a good outing in the Ranji Trophy so far as it suffered a loss in the opener against Uttarakhand and its second game against Puducherry was washed out.

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But the coach, Subroto Banerjee, is hoping that the team will turn the tide. “We have a young team and hopefully things will improve from here on. We are preparing hard,” Banerjee said.

The Moin-ul-Haq Stadium track could help the batsmen, and for that Sikkim has the edge. With its batsman Milind Kumar in prime form — two double centuries followed by a century — Sikkim will be hoping to get the better of a relatively weaker side. “There are no injury issues in the team, and we are high on confidence. Since we have two outright wins in our kitty, the team is better placed than the opponent,” Sikkim coach Sanjeev Sharma said.

While Sikkim lost the last match against Uttarakhand, it had won its first two encounters.

In the other matches of the group, Manipur will take on Meghalaya in Kolkata, while Puducherry will play its home match against Mizoram. In Goalpara, Arunachal Pradesh will take on Uttarakhand.

Fixtures

In Patna: Bihar vs Sikkim

In Goalpara: Arunachal Pradesh vs Uttarakhand

In Kolkata: Manipur vs Meghalaya

In Puducherry: Mizoram vs Puducherry