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‘Preparations have been satisfactory’

Calcutta: Laxmi Ratan Shukla is not reading much into Bengal’s batting failure in their quarter-final victory over Tamil Nadu. The Bengal captain is hoping the batsmen don’t repeat the mistakes on Friday.

“All the players are working hard. Much shouldn’t be read into it… Such things happen and everything doesn’t click on all days. Hopefully…” Shukla said after practice on Thursday.

Shukla is positive about Bengal’s chances in the tournament. “This match is important for both the teams. We are going to concentrate on our own game…. The preparations have been satisfactory and we are confident.”

Shukla doesn’t agree that not having to face Punjab in the semi-final has been a relief of sorts. “Nothing of that sort… We are playing against the best team…

“The opposition doesn’t matter… Railways are a good team and they have done well this season. That is why they have reached this stage.”

"We know the toss is going to be a factor… Batting under lights has been a problem for all teams… There's lateral movement and that is helping the bowlers… Let's see how it goes," said Shukla.

He also backed Jayojit Basu who fell early in the earlier match. "It's part of the game… Some days you get runs, some days you don't… He will play."

Railways coach Abhay Sharma said they were not giving much importance to the wicket. “We’re not concentrating on the wicket. We know we have to bat and bowl well… Hopefully we’ll continue to do well.”

Railways are pinning hopes on Arindam Ghosh. The former Bengal batsman has been in fine form this season. “He is a good batsman. If he gets a start, it will benefit both him and the team.”