Dark horses Rajasthan hope to continue their dream run | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Dark horses Rajasthan hope to continue their dream run

The last one was a David vs Goliath encounter. This one could end that way too, if the confidence in the Rajasthan acmp is anything to go by. Rajasthan, who graduated from the Plate group to play Tamil Nadu in the semifinals, will be hoping to pull off another upset. Khurram Habib reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 03, 2011 00:11 IST
Khurram Habib

The last one was a David vs Goliath encounter. This one could end that way too, if the confidence in the Rajasthan camp is anything to go by. Rajasthan, who graduated from the Plate group to play Tamil Nadu in the semifinals, will be hoping to pull off another upset.

They had beaten Mumbai in the previous encounter and that win has added a spring in their stride.

They are playing at home and it is mighty tough to beat them in their own backyard.

But Tamil Nadu, with their strong batting line-up, will start cautiously knowing that the hosts can bite.

The focus will again be on a battle between the hosts' bowling and their opponents' batting, although, in the last game, it was Rajasthan's batting that took the game away from defending champions Mumbai.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who is captaining the side, Aakash Chopra and Rashmi Ranjan Parida will be again be the key players in the side.

Chopra has a triple under his belt, Kanitkar a double and Parida too has played some important knocks.

Opener Vineet Saxena's runs in the last match proved that they have options beyond the three professionals.

But it is their bowling that has caught everyone's fancy ever since they dismissed Hyderabad for a paltry 21. Deepak Chahar took 8 for 21 in that game and in the words of team management has improved with every outing. India pacer Pankaj Singh looks as mean as he was. The bounce that he extracts from his height can be disconcerting.

Tamil Nadu are a strong side thanks to their batting.

It comprises men who have been with Indian team or have seen many graduate to international from among their batch.

Their line-up boasts of the likes of Dinesh Karthik, who has been in and out of the Indian team, Abhinav Mukund, S Badrinath and Sathish. Laxmipathy Balaji will lead the attack.

They will, however, miss the services of Murali Vijay and R Ashwin, both of who are on duty in South Africa.

The role of the toss will be vital. The wicket, as it has done over the season, should help the seamers early on.

If what the curator says is to go by, whoever wins the toss, may not mind bowling.

Teams

Tamil Nadu: D Karthik, S Badrinath, S Anirudha, A Karthik, A Srinivas, L Balaji, N Einstein, C Ganapathy, VY Mahesh, A Mukund, M Prabhu, S Sam, R Sathish, K Vasudevadas.

Rajasthan: H Kanitkar, A Chopra, G Singh, R Bist, D Chahar, R Chahar, v Deshpande, M Khatri, S Mathur, P Singh, RR Parida, P Yadav, V Yadav, V Saxena, D Yagnik.

Stars To watch out for