Both Suresh Raina and Tanmay Srivastava spent a good five minutes on the 22-yard strip at the Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur on Saturday. Obviously happy with what the curator had prepared for their Ranji semifinal against Tamil Nadu, the two Uttar Pradesh players went back to the dressing room with big smiles. It was a similar result when the TN duo of Dinesh Karthik and S Badrinath had their look of the wicket.
A flatbed, the wicket in Nagpur may have pleased the batsmen, but will have very little to offer to the bowlers. "It's a perfect batting wicket and the bowlers will have their work cut out," Badrinath said. "It's going to be a cracker of a game."
"Everyone is contributing well and our win against UP in the league match will keep us inspiring to do the same," Badrinath added.
UP coach Gyanendra Pandey said he was confident of his team’s success. "We lost to TN in a league match when we had our key players, including skipper Mohd Kaif, missing. But now we are at full strength.”
With Rudra Pratap Singh not playing because of a shoulder injury, Pandey said the onus would be on Praveen Kumar to shoulder the bowling responsibility.
UP: M Kaif (captain), S Raina, P Chawla, P Kumar, P Singh, P Gupta, M Amir Khan, S Shukla, I Ahmad, B Kumar, T Srivastava, R Shukla, S Tyagi, A Yadav, T Abbas.
TN: D Karthik (captain), M Vijay, A Mukund, KB Arun Karthik, S Badrinath, S Vidyut, S Suresh Kumar, R Ashwin, C Suresh, L Balaji, C Ganpathy, VY Mahesh, P Amarnath, R Prasanna, KH Gopinath.