Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ranji Trophy 11-12: Jharkhand Update

The first 2 rounds of the 2011-12 season of the  Ranji Trophy are over. There have been big scores (including a triple century) some close draws, some boring draws, rare outright wins, a few weather interventions. There were 2 highly interesting games. Maharashtra beating Hyderabad by an innings in a low scoring crazy shootout to rival the one in Newlands. And the absolutely rivetting draw between Tamil Nadu & Haryana where all 4 results were possible till the end.

It seems to me that the domestic season is attracting quite a bit of attention this time around. I can think of a couple of reasons for this increased awareness. The first is the presence of big names in the tournament. The performance of recent India rejects & hopefuls like Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, the Pathan brothers and others are being keenly watched. Long retired Saurav Ganguly is stil motivated enough to play for Bengal. Also thanks to the IPL, the domestic players are not all anonymous entities. Players like Rajat Bhatia, Mithun Manhas are no longer unfamiliar names. There is better coverage of the games. Cricinfo keeps updating scores on a regular basis. The twitter handle @Ranjiscores is also doing a great job of providing regular updates on the games happening all over the country.

Now a performance review of my team Jharkhand playing in the Plate League Group B. So far has played 2 games against Hyderabad and Jammu & Kashmir, both away. 

In the first game against Hyderabad, Jharkhand conceded a big first innings lead after bowling first, which more or less sealed the game result. Game ended in a draw with Hyderabad getting 3 points and Jharkhand 1. The first day was affected by weather. The standout performers for the team were Ishank Jaggi (81 in the first innings) and Amir Hashmi (68) with the bat while SS Rao picked 6 and Shahbaz Nadeem picked 3 wickets. 

The 2nd game against Jammu & Kashmir in Srinagar was badly hit by the weather with no play at all on the 2nd and 3rd days. As neither team could complete the 1st innings also, both were given 2 points each. Samar Quadri & Shahbaz Nadeem picked 2 wickets apiece while Manish Vardhan got a quickfire half century.

Nothing much can be read from these results though the team is lying bottom of the table with 3 points fom 2 games. Ishank Jaggi & Shabaz Nadeem seem in decent form while captain Saurabh Tiwary's indifferent run across all formats continues. Team certainly seems to be missing the pace of Varun Aaron in the bowling department, while chances of Dhoni playing a Ranji game in the near future appear very remote. 

Coming up next in the league stage are
17-20 Nov: Maharashtra
29 Nov - 2 Dec : Assam
6-9 Dec: Goa

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