Calcutta: Bengal open against Baroda in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Super League tie, on Tuesday at the Bandra-Kurla Complex ground, in Mumbai, on Tuesday. And Sourasish Lahiri, who is leading an inexperienced Bengal side in the absence of Laxmi Ratan Shukla, feels it’s time for the youngsters to stand up and be counted.
“It’s a golden opportunity for the youngsters to prove their worth. They should grab this chance with both hands,” Sourasish said from Mumbai.
Bengal will be without the likes of Shukla, Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha, who are busy with their IPL commitments. Even Ashok Dinda has been ruled out after sustaining a shoulder injury while trying to prevent a boundary during Bengal’s last zonal leg tie of the national T20 tournament versus Odisha on Saturday.
Sayan Ghosh will come in place of Dinda, while Pritam Chakraborty will be replacing Veer Pratap Singh. Sreevats Goswami is likely to open the innings.
Sourasish refused to believe Bengal was lacking in experience. “Every team are without their main players... So that kind of puts every one on an even keel,” he said.
Baroda’s India under-19 spinner Deepak Hooda will be available for the first two games before being replaced by Utkarsh Patel in the squad to be captained by Aditya Waghmode.
Munaf Patel would be spearheading Baroda’s attack.
Group A games featuring Haryana, Goa, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh would be held in Rajkot, while Group B matches involving Delhi, Baroda, Kerala, Bengal and Rajasthan are to be held in two centres in Mumbai.
In another match to be played at the Wankhede, Delhi, who will be without big guns like Virender Sehwang and Gautam Gambhir, clash with Kerala without their IPL stars Sanju Samson, P. Parameswaran and Sandeep Warrier. Kerala, who is coached by former India and Mumbai stumper Chandrakant Pandit in this tournament, qualified after losing the first two games.
Pandit sounded wary about taking on what he assumes would be a new-look squad from the north powerhouse.