| Devang Gandhi has sweet memories of the ground
Jaipur:Unfancied Rajasthan are looking to start their Ranji season on a positive note with a spirited performance against a formidable Bengal in the Elite Group B tie on Friday. The four-day tie will provide a golden opportunity for players like Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar and wicketkeeper- batsman Deep Dasgupta to make an impression on the national selectors.
The tie is also an opportunity for Rajasthan players — Anshu Jain, Nikhil Doru and captain P. Krishnakumar to make their presence felt on the domestic scene.
Bengal is definitely the superior side on paper, especially by virtue of their batting strength led by the southpaw Rohan and Deep. Another plus for the team will be Devang Gandhi, who carries sweet memories of this ground. Devang scored a big ton at the K.L. Saini stadium a few seasons ago when the teams last met here. Bengal had beaten Rajasthan by an innings in that tie.
Last year, though, an improved Rajasthan stood up to a big Bengal first innings score at the Eden Gardens before the match was washed off. Bengal’s bowling is spearheaded by medium pacer Laxmi Ratan Shukla and veteran left-arm spinner Utpal Chatterjee. Bengal coach Karsan Ghavri, though, conceded it would be his team’s batting which will call the shots.
“The strength of our team lies in batting. If we put up a decent score then our bowlers can experiment and that will also provides them with more space,” Ghavri said.
“Most of our players have performed reasonably well in tournaments like Buchi Babu, Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup and they want to begin the season on a high note,” Ghavri said, adding Rohan and Devang were in real good nick.
Rajasthan coach Taposh Chatterjee, a former Ranji player, said his team lacks big names but plays well as a unit.
“We missed making it to the semi-finals last season and that is a testimony to our strength,” Chatterjee said.
On his team’s line-up, the Rajasthan coach commented, “We have veteran Sanjeev Sharma whose presence gives confidence to other members of the side.
“We have a promising wicketkeeper in Rohit Jhalani who remains in oblivion despite being rated as a better keeper than many in the country during his stint at the National Cricket Academy,” Chatterjee said. He added he was satisfied with the efforts of the seasoned Gagan Khoda, Jain, Doru and Krishnakumar.
The green-top wicket is expected to hold up right through the match and promises to produce an interesting contest.
Bengal (from): Rohan Gavaskar (captain), Deep Dasgupta, Devang Gandhi, Amitava Chakraborty, Subhamoy Das, Sanjib Sanyal, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Utpal Chatterjee, Saurashish Lahiri, Sabbir Ali, Ranadeb Bose, Shib Shankar Paul, Aniruddha Roy, Shib Sagar Singh. Coach: Karsan Ghavri
Rajasthan: P. Krishnakumar (captain), Rahul Kanwat, Gagan Khoda, Nikhil Doru, Mohammed Aslam, Rohit Jhalani, Anshu Jain, Vineet Saxena, Anup Dave, Sumit Mathur, Kishan Chowdhary, Pankaj Gupta, Shamsher Singh, Sanjeev Sharma. Coach: Taposh Chatterjee