Vasudevan: Tamil Nadu needs three-day format matches, Ranji Trophy specialists

S. Vasudevan, the skipper of Tamil Nadu's triumphant Ranji side 34 years ago and presently the Chairman of the State senior selection committee, speaks on what the state needs to improve its chances in the domestic competition.

Tamil Nadu lost the final league sage match against Jharkhand, which eliminated it from the Ranji Trophy.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Another season and one more debacle in the Ranji Trophy. Tamil Nadu, again, failed to qualify from the group. 

What needs to be done to regain the prestigious title last won by the State in 1988?

Who better to ask than S. Vasudevan, the skipper of that triumphant Ranji side 34 years ago and presently the Chairman of the State senior selection committee. 

A high-quality left-arm spinning all-rounder in his time, Vasudevan was candid with his views in a chat with Sportstar.

Vasudevan said, “The two-day TNCA league matches are not serving any purpose. It is an extended limited overs game and is not producing players for the longer format.”

The selection panel chief added, “We need to revert to the three-day format. Our cricketers should be able to play long innings, bowl long spells.”

He added, “There is a greater chance of this happening in the three-day game where the wear and tear factor also comes into the picture on the third day.”

Vasudevan wanted a competition of three-day games ahead of the Ranji Trophy. “Previously, we had the Buchi Babu tournament, which used to kickstart our Ranji season.”

He continued, “Now that the Buchi Babu is not held, we need to have a three-day matches competition between four select sides ahead of the Ranji season.”

Vasudevan said, “There is a huge mind-set difference between white and red-ball cricket. We are an excellent white ball team but our cricketers are not displaying the right mindset for the four-day matches.”

The former Tamil Nadu captain observed, “The batters need to make big hundreds. The pacemen have to be incisive and retain their effectiveness over long spells, not just with the new ball.”

Vasudevan noted, “And our spinners have to rely on flight. Unless you flight, you will not produce spin. Playing too many limited overs games has impacted their mindset. They are too flat, don’t want to go for runs.”

He advocated grooming cricketers specially for Ranji Trophy and having a more extended camp ahead of the season. 

Wise words indeed. Will the TNCA respond?

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