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Regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Bengal plot KL Rahul’s fall ahead of their Ranji Trophy semi-final match against Karnataka

With a green top likely to be on offer, Bengal will bank on their pacers

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 27.02.20, 09:57 PM
Mukesh Kumar.

Mukesh Kumar. (Santosh Ghosh)

Bengal will focus on their strengths when they take on a strong Karnataka side in the Ranji Trophy semi-final match, beginning at the Eden on Saturday.

With a green top likely to be on offer, Bengal will bank on their quicks, who have played an important part right through the competition.

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The good news for the home team is that the young pacer Akash Deep has recovered from a groin injury and appears set to feature in the playing XI.

“We know Karnataka are a strong side, but I just want to think about my team. We are playing well and we want to continue doing so. We will play to our strengths,” coach Arun Lal said on Thursday.

Akash is likely to replace Nilkantha Das, while Sudip Chatterjee may also make a comeback as Bengal mull playing an extra batsman. If Sudip comes in, all-rounder Arnab Nandi will be benched. Sudip batted at the nets for quite some time on Thursday.

The bowlers, on the other hand, remain confident despite the presence of KL Rahul and Manish Pandey in the Karnataka ranks. “We know they have a couple of India players, but we are not intimidated.

“We are concentrating on our skills and strong points… Don’t want to harp on what the opposition has in store for us,” senior pacer Mukesh Kumar told The Telegraph.

“We have watched several matches and video clippings of Rahul. If we bowl in the right areas and maintain a line on or outside the off-stump channel, we can get him out,” he added.

Lal believes Bengal have the quality to go all the way. “I don’t have a magic wand. If you play well, you will win the Ranji Trophy and the fact is Bengal are playing terrific cricket. The good feeling is there, and so many match winners in the team,” he said.

The Decision Review System (DRS) would be used for the first time in the Ranji semi-finals. But only limited options would be available as there won’t be HawkEye, Snickometer or the UltraEdge. “I don’t have much experience with DRS. It’s of limited usage and hopefully, it might remove some of the howlers,” Lal said.

Skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran said: “It (DRS) is a new thing, but I think the guys have seen enough cricket on television, so we know a bit of how it works.”

How best the DRS could be used would be a point of discussion, feels former captain Manoj Tiwary.

“We will discuss with the video analyst, umpires and referee in the pre-match meeting. I will try to give my inputs from the slip cordon, but it’s the bowler and the wicketkeeper who would be the best judge to take a call,” he said.

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