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Jharkhand are firm favourites

Calcutta: One cannot blame Jharkhand if they feel confident. Not only because of their performance in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy where they were the only team from the East Zone to qualify for the knockout stages, the success of the Ranchi Rhinos in the Hockey India League, too, is an inspiration.

Jharkhand’s welcome rise in the cricketing arena has earned them respect, at least in the East Zone, which has been ruled by Bengal.

It’s obvious then that the players would give their best to retain that status. But there’s a flip side to it as well, as being overconfident has often been the main reason for downfall.

But if the 2010-11 champions are looking for a good start to the zonal leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, things shouldn’t be much difficult for them as their opponents on Saturday are Tripura, who didn’t look too strong in their opener against Assam where they were thrashed by eight wickets.

Speaking after a four hour practice session at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground, on Friday, captain Shahbaz Nadeem stressed on the importance of the tournament.

“I think that most of the guys in the team have followed Ranchi Rhinos’ triumphant run… They have really made us proud. Now, we want to do something similar for our state… We want to do an encore of 2010-11.”