| Sanjib Sanyal (left) and Manoj Tewari practise on the eve of the one-dayer vs Assam at the Eden on Friday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: Allrounder Sanjib Sanyal is likely to open the innings for Bengal in the national one-dayer (East Zone) match against Assam at the Eden on Saturday.
This is the first time that the allrounder will open in the one-dayer. He had last opened the batting during the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad in 2002-03. Incidentally, Devang Gandhi was then the captain and if Sanyal opens Saturday, it will again be under his captaincy.
He is expected to partner Arindam Das, with Subhomoy Das getting the axe. According to coach Karsan Ghavri: 'If Sanyal does well at the top, he might be persisted with in the one-dayers.'
Manoj Tewari, who recently got a call-up to the national under-19 squad for the series against England colts, is sure to figure in the final XI.
Both teams had a workout at the Eden Gardens on Friday.
Devang, talking to the reporters, said: 'The wicket looks good. We are not looking for anything but a win. We will like to bat first unless conditions demand otherwise.'
According to the coach, though, the hosts might chase if they win the toss. He sounded unhappy with the performance of his bowlers, who allowed Tripura to score 242 in the last match.
Devang, however, thinks that Assam are no pushovers. The opponents have been relegated from Elite group B to the Plate division in the Ranji Trophy this season (without a single point in their kitty). 'But one-dayer is a different ball game,' Devang added.
The opponents, though, have their task cut out against their formidable rivals. And with captain and wicketkeeper Zakaria Zufri down with fever (he didn't practise Friday and is doubtful for the match), the job looks even more difficult.
'Our mainstay Parag Das couldn't come over as he has fractured his hand,' coach Dinesh Nanavati replied, adding, 'we will bank on our batsmen and hope for the best.'
In another match, Orissa will take on Tripura at the Jadavpur University campus, Salt Lake on Saturday. Orissa, with four points, will go in with the same side that beat Jharkhand in the last match, informed coach Ajit Jayprakash. However, he is not taking the opponent lightly. 'Tripura scored 240 plus against Bengal, so it will be a good match,' he said on Friday.
Bengal (likely): Arindam Das, Sanjib Sanyal, Devang Gandhi, Rohan Gavaskar, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Manoj Tewari, Deep Dasgupta, Sourashish Lahiri, Anirban Chatterjee, Ranadeb Bose and Shib Shankar Paul.
Assam (from): Zakaria Zufri, R. Satish, V. Sarvanan, Sukhwinder Singh, R.K. Yadav, Arnal Konwar, Mrigen Talukdar, Pervez Aziz, Gokul Sharma, Debabrata Roy, Baburam Magar, Kunal Saikia, Subhadeep Ghosh, Sajjad Hussain.
The Assam Cricket Association is building a new stadium in Guwahati. The stadium at Versapara, five kilometres off Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, will be exclusively for cricket with an indoor camp as well. It will be equipped with floodlights and international matches will be held there, informed Assam manager Pritam Konwar.