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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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State ready for Bengal challenge

It is back to new strategies for the state U-19 boys as they try to put behind the blushes of their last outing against Uttar Pradesh and get ready to take fresh guard against Bengal during their Cooch Behar Trophy Elite Group C clash from Saturday.

The state boys, who fared wonderfully at the recently concluded Vinoo Mankad Trophy zonal League matches in Assam, would focus on doing the basics right and maintaining the momentum as they go out to clash with Bengal at Keenan Stadium.

Led by the highly talented Vishal Singh, the state team boasts a formidable batting line-up with the likes of Shasheem Rathour, Sumit Kumar, Sumandutt Singh and wicket keeper Pappu Kumar Singh shouldering the responsibility of run scoring.

The bowling department of the team is headed by pacers Monu Kumar Singh, Prem Kumar, Krishna Patel and Jagdish Pradhan, with tweakers Sonu Kumar Singh, Ronit Singh and Kaushal Kishore Singh too expected to keep a lid on scoring during the Bengal match.

The state has reportedly effected one change in its squad for the Bengal match, bringing in Dhanbad batsman Sumandutt Singh in place of injured Virat Singh who is nursing a back injury.

“We are not thinking about the previous match. The boys are focussed on the job at hand. So far, we have done pretty well and I hope that we are able to sustain our performance in the coming matches,” a member of the Jharkhand team management told The Telegraph.

Bengal on the other hand too is bubbling with confidence having posted an outright win against Kerela at Kalyani and forcing a draw during their match against Tamil Nadu in Chennai. The team sits pretty on eight points from two matches.

Bengal coach Russi Jeejeebhoy looked like a satisfied, if not happy, man on Friday as his team sweated it out under the winter sun on the Keenan turf. “We have started well and hope to continue in the same vein in our coming matches. We have a balanced side with the boys having it in them to rise to the occasion as and when the situation demands,” Jeejeebhoy said.

Captained by in-form all-rounder Aamir Gani, Bengal will rely on the batting exploits of Ankit Kesri, Vivek Singh and Priyam Sarkar to get them big scores.