Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ranji Trophy 13-14: Jharkhand Season Review

Match Summary: Punjab (516) defeated Jharkhand (216 & 127) by an innings and 173 runs
Points: Jharkhand 0, Punjab 7

An absolute thrashing, Disaster in Dhanbad - I would call it. And with this defeat and Haryana securing 3 points against Odisha, Jharkhand head back to Group C. Only highlight from this game would be Rameez Nemat's opening knocks in both innings.

Season Review
Nothing much to write about Jharkhand's performance this season. It has been a disappointing season on most counts. No wins at all and 3 losses including those to Odisha and Haryana. last year's quarter-finalists finish bottom of Group A and are now relegated to group C (alongwith their fellow promotee Services who also head back to after one season in Group B). Somehow I feel given the group compositions, qualifying would be easier from Group C despite only 2 teams getting selected from that group. Maybe BCCI could look at evening out the groups and having different qualification knockout format.

The season's highlight would be the performance against Mumbai. Even in that there was a chance to go for a win which Jharkhand did not go for. This did prove quite crucial in the end.

Saurabh Tiwary was consistent throughout the season with 238 (out of a total of 351) against Mumbai being the highlight. This incidentally is the highest first class score by any Jharkhand batsman. Unfortunately most of the time Tiwary was fighting a lone battle while the rest of the batting collapsed around him.

Varun Aaron came back from injury and had a decent enough season which earned him a recall to the Indian national team. But more would have been expected of him. 

The skipper Shahbaz Nadeem had a decent all round year but did not match last year's levels.

Overall the team seemed out of depth against the Group A teams. Also the imports Thaker & Thakkar were not really upto mark and by the end of the season both had been dropped from the playing XI. I think getting average first class players from other states certainly will not help the team's cause. The likes of Aakash Chopra, Kanitkar, S Sriram, Amol Mazumdar are the ones the team should target (not necessarily the same ones). 

Season Stats
Leading Scorers
Saurabh Tiwary - 854 runs @65.69
Rameez Nemat - 472 runs @42.91
Ishank Jaggi - 373 runs @28.69

Top Innings - Saurabh Tiwary - 238 vs Mumbai

Most Wickets
Shahbaz Nadeem - 21 @34.05
Varun Aaron - 20 @21.95
Samar Quadri - 17 @24.53

Top Performance - Samar Quadri - 6/65 vs Vidarbha

Hoping for a much better Ranji season next year. 

Coming up Next - Vijay Hazare Trophy in the first week of March.

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