Ranji Trophy: Daunting task for Bengal as they face Punjab in a must win clash

[caption id="attachment_57765" align="alignnone" width="580"]DSC_0794 Bengal Coach Sairaj Bahutule and Captain Manoj Tiwary . Image Source: Xtra Time[/caption]

Internet Desk: Manoj Tiwari and his team finds themselves in a very precarious situation ahead of their crucial Ranji Trophy Group D tie against Punjab which gets underway at the Gandhi Ground in Amritsar from Friday. It is a must win tie for the visitors in order to keep their hopes alive for an outright chance of qualifying for the knock-out stage.

Odds are stacked heavily against Bengal as Manoj and his team were forced to train indoors as it has been raining in Amritsar. In spite of starting the Ranji season well, Bengal is in a tight spot having lost to Vidharbha in Kalyani. They are now placed fourth ion Group D with 13 points. In contrast Punjab are on 15 points from four games like Bengal and the visitors need to win this match as the toss up will be between these two teams to qualify from this group for the knock-out stage.
Bengal has made two changes in their squad with Writtick Roychowdhury and Sourav Singh replacing Md Shami and Wriddhiman Saha. Koushik Ghosh is also indisposed because of fever. Sairaj Bahutule, Bengal Coach, said: “We have not been able to practice as we wanted. The nets were not ready. So we were limited to knock downs and one stump bowling. But the practice pitches were poor, so we could not risk bowling our pacers. However, the spinners bowled to the batsmen. At least we had a feel of the ground.”
Asked about the wicket, he said: “The wicket looked pretty okay at first sight. It is reasonably bald and spinners will come into play at some point of time. We can expect the ball to reverse also. But a lot will depend on the toss.”
On the fact that Bengal would need a win, he said: “A lot of that depends on the first day and first session and how much of game we get considering the conditions. We will first try to secure a first innings lead and then go for a win if the chance so provides.”
Asked about the team composition, Sairaj said that they would in all probability go for two spinners and two pacers in which case Ashoke Dinda and Ishan Porel, after his performance in the last match, will be the first choice while Pradipto Pramanik and Amir Gani would be the spinning duo. On whether the batting line-up will see some change he said that will be decided later after the team meeting.


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