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Disgusting, says Laxmi

Calcutta: Captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla was livid with his teammates’ performance following a disastrous start to Bengal’s Buchi Babu Memorial tournament campaign.

In their opener on Friday, Bengal were handed a 10-wicket thrashing by Andhra as the two-day game lasted just 57.5 overs!

Shukla was at a loss to explain his team’s awful show. At the same time, he believes Bengal will make a quick recovery when they meet Tamil Nadu on Monday.

“Our performance was simply disgusting. That’s all I can say…” Shukla said from Chennai.

“We read the wicket wrong… We should’ve bowled first… But having said that, there’s simply no justification for such a poor show with the bat.

“Nonetheless, it’s just the first match. No wonder our next matches after such a bad result will only get tougher, but I do believe our players have the character to turn things around.

“There were difficult periods last season as well, but we did recover well and went on to reach the Ranji Trophy semi-finals. So, you can’t write us off,” Shukla added.

Although the captain refused to comment on the changes Bengal would ring in against Tamil Nadu, it was learnt that Sudip Chatterjee and Veer Pratap Singh could be drafted into the final XI.

“Obviously, we’ve to weigh our options and select the best XI,” said coach Joydeep Mukherjee, who’s there in place of an unwell Ashok Malhotra.

“Friday was just one bad day in office. Most of our batsmen tried to play rash shots on a slow-turner… I’m sure they will quickly learn from their mistakes.

“They will definitely turn it around quickly.”

Brief scores

Bengal 80 in 42.2 overs (GVS Prasad 5/26, V. Panchal 5/37). Andhra 82 no loss in 15.3 overs (KS Bharath 57 ..). Andhra won by 10 wickets.