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Railways hope for boost in confidence

They were on the mat for a major part of their drawn opener against Gujarat, but the Railways will look to capitalize on the lessons learnt as they take on a shaky Assam at the Karnail Singh Stadium from today. Shubhodeep Chakravarty reports.

cricket Updated: Nov 10, 2010 00:57 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

They were on the mat for a major part of their drawn opener against Gujarat, but the Railways will look to capitalize on the lessons learnt as they take on a shaky Assam at the Karnail Singh Stadium from today.

Playing at home has not always been auspicious for Murali Kartik's side as they have struggled at times on a slow track that assists spin. Inconsistency has haunted them and that can be attributed to the indifferent form of Sanjay Bangar in the last season. The veteran all-rounder has begun well with a half century but failed to impress with the ball against Gujarat. Batsmen like V Chelvuraj and Faiz Fazal, who have been present for a while and have shown sound temperament, will also have to shoulder the burden of putting up a healthy score.

The Railways' bowling will hinge on Krishnakant Upadhyay and Shailender Gehlot. The pace duo has shown the ability to chip away at wickets and will hope to bully its way through the Assam batting.

Making the Elite Division for the first time since the 2004-05 season, Assam have not had the best of starts to their campaign, losing their opener to Tamil Nadu by seven wickets.

Despite commendable knocks from S Sriram and Tarjinder Singh against Tamil Nadu, the age-old problem of a tottering middle order persists and it can be an invitation to the hosts to move in for the kill.

Nonetheless, it will be a contest where both sides will look to slay the demons within rather than test the might of each other.