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Shaky Bengal hoping for change in fortunes

cricket Updated: Nov 29, 2011 01:48 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Even with Sourav Ganguly back at the helm, Bengal have plenty of problems to sort out as they get ready to take on Haryana at Lahli in their third match of the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B from Tuesday.

If they are thinking of becoming title contenders they will have to take their chances against the supposedly weaker teams of the group.

However, they have already slipped against Madhya Pradesh at home and Haryana away can prove to be tricky opposition.

"We need to do consistently well as a bowling unit. I won’t say we bowled badly against MP but rub of the green did not go our way in that match," said Bengal coach WV Raman. Even when Bengal got a first-innings lead, and three points, against Gujarat, their bowling nearly failed to defend a total of 560.

Raman added that the grass on the wicket was nothing alarming.

The batting order will need a bit of tinkering after regular skipper Manoj Tiwary was called up for national duty against the West Indies and the selectors dropped opener Parthasarathi Bhattacharya and No. 3 Arindam Ghosh.

hosts upbeat

Haryana are coming into this match after surprising Baroda to snatch three points and with what looks like an ideal mix of seasoned and young players, Haryana may even dream of making the knockout stage.

“We play in these conditions all year round. The squad which played against Baroda has been retained,” said Haryana coach Ashwin Kumar.

The hosts will be banking on Rahul Dewan, wicketkeeper-batsman Nitin Saini and Sunny Singh, each with a century under his belt.

The spin department is led by leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who will look to impress after a below-par England tour.

Ganguly missing

Stand-in captain Ganguly missed Bengal’s practice session on Monday morning.

He was expected to join the squad just over 12 hours before the start of the match. “Ganguly had some work in Kolkata,” said Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee.