India Red face weakened India Green in key Duleep Trophy tie at flooded Green Park
Poor pitch management by Uttar Pradesh cricket officials in the last game of Duleep Trophy at the Green Park has left a sour taste for India Red, led by senior UP player Suresh Rainacricket Updated: Sep 18, 2017 19:48 IST
Skipper Suresh Raina’s outburst against Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association’s COO Deepak Sharma for not managing things properly at the Green Park after his India Blue lost vital points due to rain in their Duleep Trophy tie against India Red has brought into focus the functioning of the authorities concerned.
The absence of proper cover and a wet outfield was blamed for not allowing more play in the weather-forced draw last week.
A repeat of mismanagement when India Blue take on India Green in the crucial and last Duleep Trophy league match starting here on Tuesday would tarnish the UPCA’s image further as heavy rain on the eve of the four-day match on Monday has made things difficult.
Depleted India Green
Other than the weather, the other big issue for the teams, especially India Green, would be the induction of new faces as many of their key players, including first-match centurion Karun Nair, have left to prepare for the four-day match against New Zealand A, starting at Vijayawada on September 23.
“Let the two teams give us the final list of players in the evening; only then we would be able to let you people know who’s in the team,” UPCA media manager Mohd Talib told HT on Monday.
Must-win for India Green
A draw would be good enough for Raina and Co to book a place in the final against India Red as they already have three points from the draw against India Red. For the Parthiv Patel-led India Green, it will be a do-or-die match as they have no points so far.
The final is scheduled from September 25 to 29 at Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
“We are here to win. Even under such a condition, we would like to make use of whatever opportunities we get in the game,” India Blue skipper Manoj Tiwary said at a press conference. “Though we have three points, we are not going to take things lightly.”
Parthiv Patel also promised his side would go all out. “Nothing is left for us now, winning is the only option left. Giving our best would be on top of our agenda in the game.”
Centuries by Deepak Hooda and Hanuma Vihari and some lower-order fireworks from Jayadev Unadkat and Bhargav Bhatt in their last game at the venue helped India Blue take the vital first innings lead though young Baba Indrajit struck a double century for India Red. Some fine bowling by local boy Ankit Rajpoot (3/56) was a big plus for Raina and Co.