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Upbeat Jharkhand ready for Punjab

Jamshedpur: Nearly a decade after they lost to Haryana in a crucial quarter final match, Jharkhand are ready to relive their dream of making it big in the Ranji Trophy.

The state team, who will cross swords with Punjab at the Keenan starting Sunday, has made remarkable progress in the tournament this year, and would be keen to carry on the momentum.

Though the odds are stacked heavily against them — more so with the presence of Punjab skipper Harbhajan Singh in the opponents camp — Shahbaz Nadeem and his boys have refused to give up hope and expect to pull off an upset, provided they do the basics right.

“We are least concerned about the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We right now want to just focus on our own game. Harbhajan is an experienced player. But it is his form that matters the most. We will go into the match with a positive frame of mind,” Nadeem said.

According to the Jharkhand captain, a 350-plus score should be adequate on this pitch.

“If we score that much we will stand a good chance,” Nadeem said, hinting that he was mulling a seven-batsman, four-bowler combination. He, however, quickly made it clear that the final XI would be decided after a final look at the pitch before the start.