Over-dependence on skipper Mohd Kaif, middle-order batsman Suresh Raina and opener Tanmay Srivastava has been Uttar Pradesh’s biggest cause for concern in recent years.
The three have been doing the bulk of the scoring for the past three seasons, including 2005-06, when they won their maiden Ranji Trophy title
With Raina doing national duty against England — the last year’s runners-up now have only Kaif and Srivastava to look up to in the batting order. Things are expected to remain the same when they take on Tamil Nadu in their Group B super league match at the Nehru Stadium here from Sunday.
Barring Kaif, who has 200 runs to his name, and the left-handed opener Srivastava (236 runs in three innings), others failed to impress with the willow.
Anshul Kapoor, despite getting opportunities at the top of the order, has so far scored 6, 0, 21 in three outings. Thanks to his poor run, the team management may replace Kapoor with Shivakant Shukla; the left-hander had a good season in 2005-06 both in under-22 and Ranji Trophy.
While seamer Sudeep Tyagi is not in the best of form, there are also doubts over all-rounder Praveen Kumar’s fitness — he has suffered an ankle injury on the third day of their match against Baroda. Piyush Chawla’s six-wicket haul against Baroda was one of the few positives for UP.
As for the Dinesh Karthik-led Tamil Nadu, both their batsmen and bowlers performed well against Maharashtra and Karnataka, and will go into match as firm favourites.
Murali Vjay started with a bang, scoring a double century, Abhinav Mukund has a triple ton to his name while S. Vidyut, Arun Karthik and Suresh Kumar are also in great form.
As far as the bowling is concerned, C. Suresh (9 wkts), R Ashwin (9) and Lakshmipathy Balaji (5), have been impressive.