Ranji Trophy: Chandigarh, Nagaland seek to extend the undefeated streak
DIMAPUR: on a run after remaining undefeated in his maiden Ranji Trophy season, Chandigarh will seek to extend his unbeaten streak to four games when they take a form Nagaland side in his homeland Sovima near Dimapur since Friday.
Chandigarh will also try to erase the memories of their thrilling one wicket heartbreak against Nagaland during the Vijay Hazare tournament in October, something which Nagaland's team manager Chuba fondly remembers as one hell of a match.
Yes, that was a game of biting the nails we are part of. Fortunately we were on the winning side, but the tie could have gone to both sides. Chandigarh is a very good team and we have to give our 100 percent to counter them. Chuba told TOI after the team practice session on Thursday.
We have a fairly balanced side of a few experienced people along with young people. Imliwati Lemtur has been on a roll this season with 25 wickets and our batters have also been in between races. We look forward to a cracker match. additional.
After a below par start to their Ranji Trophy journey in 2018-19, Nagaland have improved by leaps & bounds this season, & has so far registered two back to back wins against Manipur & Sikkim after going down to Meghalaya in the tournament opener.
Nagaland would be cashing high on outstations players which includes former India all-rounder Stuart Binny, former Maharashtra players Shrikant mundhe & Yogesh Takawale . The team is being led by Rongsen Jonathan, who made his first-class debut with Railways in 2013-14 before moving home this season.
On the other hand, Chandigarh look a confident unit after registering a thumping innings & 189 runs win against Meghalaya - their biggest in terms of margin in the Ranji Trophy . The VRV Singh-coached Chandigarh team are currently in the second spot while Nagaland occupy the fourth position in the Plate Group table.
Faced with a relatively experienced unit that plays in its home conditions, the UT side will have to produce another strong batting screen on a surface that promises to be a placid track once the dampness of the early morning diminishes.
Chandigarh's batting will revolve mainly around the captain's tastes. Manan Vohra , who has so far scored 265 runs, including a century & a half century, alongside the youngsters in opener Mohd Arslan Khan (284 runs) & consecutive two-time centurion Ankit Kaushik (265). The all-round duo of Gurinder Singh & Bipul Sharma It has also contributed well with calculating bumps.
Balancing the equation, bowlers are serving their best with maximum wicket-takers which include Gurinder Singh (20), followed by the pace duo of Shrestha Nirmohi (14) & Jaskarandeep Singh (13). Left-arm spinners Gurinder & Bipul Sharma have also proved their mettle with brilliant performances. With two six-wicket hauls, Gurinder seems to have continued from where he left last season, while representing Meghalaya. He had emerged the fourth highest wicket-taker last season with 58 scalps.
With an unchanged squad, Chandigarh is most likely to retain their winning combination. Ankit, who had hit consecutive centuries against Bihar & Meghalaya, however, cautioned his side against any complacency as he felt Nagaland will be tough opponents in familiar conditions.
"They have won back to back matches, & in their own conditions, we can't take them lightly. Our performance has been quite professional in the last three matches & we are aiming to continue with the same momentum going in to Friday's tie," Ankit told TOI.
Parcela & clima
With predictions of light shower, weather is likely to play a key role. The pitch last season was a batting paradise, but this season has been assisting the spinners as well. If that's the case, Gurinder & Bipul could return a handful.
Chandigarh: Anirudh Kanwar, Ankit Kaushik, Arpit Singh, Bipul Sharma , Gurinder Singh, Jaskarandeep Singh Buttar, Jaskaranvir Singh Sohi, Kunal Mahajan, Manan Vohra (Captain), Mohd Arslan Khan, Raman Bishnoi, Shivam Bhambri, Shreshth Nirmohi & Uday Kaul (WK)
Nagaland: Jonathan Rongsen (Captain), Nagaho Chishi, Sedezhalie Rupreo, Tahmeed Rahman, Imliwati Lemtur, Hokaito Zhimomi, Tejosel Yiethun, Bohoto K Yeptho, Mughavi Wotsa, Aosashi Longchar, Yogesh Takawale, Shrikant Munde, Stuart Binnyir, Temjentoshi Vinom.