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Arindam, Safi set to make XI

Calcutta, Dec. 6: Opener Arindam Das and middle-order batsman Safi Ahmed are set to replace Amitava Chakraborty and Subhamoy Das in the Bengal XI for the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad beginning here on Tuesday.

Bengal have done miserably so far and need to lift their game drastically in order to stay in the Elite Group next season. They have just two games to do that, Gujarat being the last match after Hyderabad.

CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya met three players — acting skipper Devang Gandhi, Utpal Chatterjee and Laxmi Ratan Shukla — on Saturday and expressed concern over the team’s poor showing. He is expected to sit with all the team members again on Monday.

“Seniors like myself and Utpal have not been able to deliver so far. We have never had such a prolonged bad run in the last ten years, and probably, that is affecting the team’s performance,” said Devang later in the evening.

“It’s not that most of us have performed and in a team game like cricket you do need contributions from everywhere. But still, the team does look up to seniors like us. Our failure may well have acted in a different way. Also, we don’t have too many options as possible replacements” said the former international.

“On the other hand, we have a few positives to take heart from. Shib Sankar Paul has taken 31 wickets in four games, and I am not sure how many Bengal medium-pacers have done that till date.”

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