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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal are cautious

Calcutta: Batting remains Bengal’s sole area of concern when they face Karnataka, on Thursday, in a quarter final match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, at the Port Trust Diamond Jubilee Stadium, in Visakhapatnam.

Throughout the zonal leg, the batsmen cut a sorry figure as even the changes rung in midway into the competition hardly made any difference. Arindam Das and Debabrata Das were axed after the matches against Odisha and Jharkhand, but the ones getting opportunities thereafter — Jayojit Basu and Vivek Singh — came a cropper.

Therefore, there was no other option left except bringing back Sreevats Goswami, who has been amongst runs in the local circuit.

“We’ll be starting afresh… So I’m confident the batsmen will put up a much better show,” captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla said on the eve of the match.

Bengal are likely to play two spinners. Either Saurasish Lahiri or Arnab Nandi may be drafted in with left-armer Iresh Saxena set to be the automatic choice. “It’s a sporting pitch, not one highly loaded in favour of batsmen or bowlers. So we have to be careful in selecting our final XI,” Shukla pointed out.

With Karnataka having names such as Robin Uthappa, Abhimanyu Mithun and captain Vinay Kumar in their ranks, it’s imperative for Bengal to come up with an all-round effort to pull themselves through.