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‘Need to play above the desired level’

Calcutta: Overall, there has been a very good improvement in Bengal’s performance this season. But captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla urges his teammates to put up a performance above the desired level as he believes, the team is quite capable of doing so.

“Our preparations have been solid. We’ve played good cricket for the most part of this season.

“We have made rapid strides in all departments, especially fielding. But playing above the desired level is still due. I feel we need to do that. In fact, we are capable enough to do it in tomorrow’s match itself,” Shukla said after practice, at the Eden, on Monday.

He also didn’t agree that Bengal’s batting was a concern going into Tuesday’s quarter final tie against Tamil Nadu. “Batting is a concern not just for Bengal, but for other teams as well. And the reason is nature of the pitches. You don’t get cement-like pitches anywhere at the domestic level.

“At the same time, you got to give credit to guys like Sreevats and Sudip for making use of the opportunities,” Shukla explained.

Manoj Tiwary believes Bengal will have a psychological edge over Tamil Nadu, courtesy their win at the Chepauk, in the Ranji Trophy.

“Yeah, we could well have an edge. Look, if we get our basics right and treat each ball as per its merit, we can be in command over a quality opposition like Tamil Nadu,” Tiwary said.