Calcutta: Laxmi Ratan Shukla believes Bengal’s batting will hold the key to their fortunes in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“The batsmen have to bat responsibly… We have to learn from our mistakes… The batsmen have to show patience and ensure that they bat the full 50 overs,” the Bengal captain said on the eve of their match against Jharkhand.
Jharkhand are guarding against complacency and counting on their Ranji Trophy achievements this season to do well. “We have had a very good pre-season… Our performance in the Ranji Trophy reflects that,” said Shahbaz Nadeem.
“We are confident of qualifying for the next stage. But we have to guard against complacency. We are not taking any team lightly. In the shorter format of the game, any team can spring a surprise on any given day.”
The Jharkhand captain doesn’t want to rush things and is taking it match by match.
“We will be taking it match by match. In this format, the first innings is really crucial. Whether you bat or ball, it is important to make a good start to gain an early initiative.”
Nadeem feels staying focused and positive will help.
“The important aspect of the team is the players are really motivated. We are all focused and we want to play good and positive cricket.
“The team composition is great and we are all eager to perform. We have a lot of all-rounders in the side as well as a host of good medium-pacers… The batsmen are also in good form.”
Having had a good Ranji season with the ball, Nadeem is looking ahead. “In Ranji, I’m the only spinner among the top-8 highest wicket-takers. It means I have done well. But I also want to perform in the other two formats. I’m enjoying this phase. “Every cricketer wants to play for his country. I am no different. But selection is not in my hands… I can only perform and hope for the best.”