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Batsmen failed, strategy backfired, says Jadhav

Guwahati, Dec. 4: Assam Ranji skipper Dheeraj Jadhav today blamed lack of form of some batsmen at his disposal and the backfiring of the team’s strategy for the loss in the match against Jammu and Kashmir on home turf here.

Talking to reporters after the match at Nehru Stadium here today, Jadhav said, “Our batsmen did not bat well in either innings. Barring a few partnerships, there was hardly any good show by our batsmen.”

“Though I would not like to name anyone in particular, some of the batsmen are yet to click in any of the matches played so far,” he said apparently pointing a finger at Gokul Sharma and Pallav Das, who have not been able to impress in the tournament yet.

Though Das has performed a couple of times, it was only in the second innings.

“Besides, one batsman is injured,” he added, referring to Kunal Saikia replacing Rajdeep Das who has twisted his ankle and is doubtful for the next match against Himachal Pradesh from Saturday.

On his own form, Jadhav said, “I admit there is extra pressure on the captain. As a batsman, you just have to score a good total. But as a captain your brain is always preoccupied with all sorts of planning which leads to some pressure. I hope I will be among runs by the next match.”

About fielding an extra seamer, Pritam Das, at the cost of a batsman on a placid wicket here, when most of the batsmen were not able to perform, he admitted that “it was a strategy which did not work out as desired”.

Also, Dhiraj Goswami, “a good all-rounder who contributes with some runs”, was missed in the match particularly on Nehru stadium turf where his bowling with the swing in it has always been useful. “The strategy was to give some respite to Abu Nechim Ahmed who has already bowled over 150 overs in the last five matches. We cannot afford to miss his service for injury. So the idea was to field a third seamer,” Jadhav said, adding that he had his choice from only among the 15 given to him by the selectors.

The decision to drop Goswami, immediately after he delivered against Services, the only match he was fielded, to accommodate Pritam Das in the squad, raised many eyebrows. On Sibsankar Roy, Pritam Das and Kunal Saikia’s performance in the C.K. Nayudu Trophy under-25 tournament, which opened the doors for them in the Ranji squad, Jadhav said, “There is a difference in class as far as Ranji Trophy is concerned”.

While Roy scored 25 and 28 sharing partnerships with Jadhav in the two innings, Saikia and Das could not impress the home crowd.

He, however, complimented Tarjinder Singh, who scored 105 today, and tailenders Ahmed and Arup Das for the temperament they displayed.

“Had a batsman clicked today, we could have avoided conceding full points,” he added.

Jadhav was, however, optimistic about making a strong comeback in the next match against Himachal Pradesh. “We have done it earlier and we are going to do it this time too,” he said. Assam suffered two continuous defeats after having tallied 16 points from the first three matches to top the group C tally.