It’s no surprise that Tamil Nadu emerged triumphant in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament last season.

If the just concluded Shriram Capital TNPL is any indication, the State has depth and options when it comes to Twenty20 cricket.

In fact, in white-ball cricket which would include the one-dayer, Tamil Nadu is quite a force.

The test for the players would arrive in the Ranji Trophy, which would make greater demands on them technically, physically and mentally.

But then, the TNPL provides a platform for several unsung cricketers who can be groomed for the longer format.

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Then there are also more familiar names such as N. Jagadeesan of the champion side, the Chepauk Super Gillies, a free-stroking batsman with a desire to influence games across formats.

He can be such a fluent batsman in Ranji Trophy if he can work on his concentration and innings building skills.

The Super Gullies played the key moments capably. Kaushik Gandhi was an attacking skipper and his chemistry with the wily coach, Hemang Badani, seemed just right.

S. Radhakrishnan, laudably, was given a primary role in the batting order. The youngster, who has represented India under-19, is a delightful stroke-maker with footwork, balance and the ability to find gaps.

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Left-arm spinner M. Siddharth can be a handful in the longer format since he possesses one of the meanest arm balls in domestic cricket. He is a clever bowler, harnessing the angles.

And how well the other left-arm spinner, Sai Kishore, bowled in high-pressure situations.

His tournament-clinching 20th over on Sunday night - he remarkably conceded just four - was a nerveless display of control and craft. The lanky spinner gets turn and bounce, probes batsmen.

The ageless R. Sathish added firepower to the line-up.

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Ruby Trichy Warriors might have finished second-best but fought with a tigerish resolve. They were a fearless bunch who bucked the odds, won admirers.

In Saravana Kumar, the side has an all-rounder who can play a part for Tamil Nadu as well. He seams the ball both ways at a lively pace, can strike the ball a long way and is not daunted by adversity.

And southpaws Nidhish Rajagopal and wicket-keeper batsman Adithya Ganesh coped admirably with pressure situations, read the flow of the game well, were judicious with their stroke-play, and won games.

The underdog almost pulled off a heist.