Unadkat: Andhra probably didn’t have the right strategy

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat, who claimed two wickets in the final session on Day Two, feels the Ongole pitch is also going to assist spinners.

Jaydev Unadkat

File photo: Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat feels 419 is an above-par score.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

Andhra has been unstoppable at the CSR Sharma College Ground in Ranji Trophy 2019-20. It won all its three games here and prefers this venue to the other centres in the state for the seam-friendly conditions. But the script is not going as planned for the home team in the quarterfinal against Saurashtra.

Andhra didn’t include a frontline spinner to accommodate four pacers. They fared well in the first session on Day One but the Saurashtra middle-order turned the tide. On Friday, No. 7 batsman Chirag Jani scored a hundred (121) to guide the visiting side to 419.

Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat feels Andhra may have gone wrong in their planning. “They probably didn’t have the right strategy with four fast bowlers. The wicket is dry because of the weather. A couple of balls also turned. A spinner in their side would have helped,” he told Sportstar at the end of day’s play.

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“I believe this is an above par score on this wicket. For the bowlers, it was not that helpful also as people were saying that it is a green top. Not all the balls are carrying, it is keeping low at times,” he added.

Unadkat will end the Ranji season as the best bowler. At present, the left-arm pacer is on 53 wickets in eight games; second to R. Sanjay Yadav of Meghalaya who finished with 55 scalps. The other bowlers in the top five list – Harshal Patel of Haryana (52 wickets), Diwesh Pathania of Services (50 wickets) and Manisankar Murasingh of Tripura (49 wickets) are out of the race.

Long day ahead

Andhra captain K.S. Bharat will be looking to build partnerships to bat out the third day. At 40/2, they have a mountain to climb.

“These are the kind of games which makes players. We need one or two big partnerships, and that’s what we are looking at. The first session will be crucial, and even after that, we can't lose wickets. We have to just bat, and bat. The wicket is a little slow now, but 419 is gettable. We need to apply ourselves better,” he said.

The mercury was touching 34 degrees this afternoon accompanied with Loo. If it gets hotter, trust the pitch to open up for slow left-arm bowler Dharmendrasinh Jadeja.

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