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Bengal to field three spinners

Calcutta, Nov. 22: Two matches gone, Bengal are yet to open their account. And things will be far from easy when they take on Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match in Thirunelveli starting on Sunday.

The visitors will leave no stones unturned as they face the runners-up, who have made a rollicking start to their season, winning against Karnataka and Rajasthan. According to the Bengal thinktank, it has been decided that they will go in with three spinners.

That means left-arm spinner Shib Sagar Singh gets his first game of the season, while Sourashish Lahiri and Utpal Chatterjee retain their berths.

The XII was announced on Saturday, with seamers Sabir Ali and Ranadeb Bose being left out. Though coach Karsan Ghavri informed that the XI will be decided on Sunday, it is likely that Subhamoy Das will be the 12th man.

“The wicket is on the slower side and it will offer assistance to the spinners as the game goes on,” Ghavri told The Telegraph on Saturday. He added that Shib Shankar Paul and Laxmi Ratan Shukla will share the new ball. Sanjib Sanyal will be the third seamer.

Debutant wicketkeeper Aniruddha Roy will carry the extra load of opening the batting with Amitava Chakraborty.

“We’re doing this to include an extra spinner in the team,” Ghavri said. “We haven’t done well in the last two matches, but the boys seem to have put that aside. A first innings lead is what we’re looking at. If we can make it, we’ll be going for an outright.”

Ghavri informed it has been raining over the last couple of days. “They have good covers and I hope the pitch won’t be affected.” Tamil Nadu are looking a strong unit with the likes of S. Sriram, S. Sharath and J.R. Madangopal in their ranks. But Ghavri felt his boys won’t be intimidated by the big names.

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