Bengal drawing inspiration from Sourav’s presence

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW DELHI - The presence of former India captain Sourav Ganguly will be an inspiration for Bengal in their do-or-die match against the Railways in their last Group B tie of the Ranji Trophy Super League starting here Wednesday.

Both the teams have their quarterfinal hopes alive with Bengal on fifth place with 12 points while Railways are sixth with 11 points. Both need an outright win to make the quarters, but their progress to the knock-out stage will also depend on the results of the other two matches — Delhi-Mumbai and Tamil Nadu-Gujarat — in Group A.

Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary knows that on a turning track, which looked underprepared, at the Karnail Singh Railway Stadium, it would be a tough task for the visitors and the team would be looking up to Sourav.

“His presence in the dressing room will bring some comfort in this crucial encounter. Sourav has been an inspiration for all of us and he is one, whom I can look forward to in tough times,” said Tiwary, on the eve of the match here Tuesday.

Tiwary is not worrying about the turning track prepared to suit Railway’s left-arm spinner Murali Kartik.

“It is a spinning track that will assist Murali Kartik. But our spinners have also done well and, hopefully, we will get a result from this match,” said Tiwary, adding that the match could end in three days.

With all their previous six matches ending in draws, Tiwary knows that an outright victory will be tough, but not impossible.

Tiwary said the team has played well in all the matches, except against Mumbai and Assam.

“All the matches that we played till now were on dull pitches, not enough to have a result. Such tracks don’t help teams to pick up 20 wickets in a match.”

Asked what role Ganguly, who is playing his first first-class match after a long time, can perform in the team, Tiwary said: “He is a class in himself and since he has made his mind to play this match, he must have made his own preparations. In fact I can consult him while making decisions.”

Bengal coach W.V. Raman felt that for Sourav, it will be case of fine tuning his mind.

“Players like Sourav just need to fine tune their minds. No one can gurantee how many runs even an in-form batsmen can score, so it would be useless to think how many runs can Sourav score. But his presence will surely boost the team,” said Raman.

Tiwary also said that the toss would be crucial factor.

“I think it will start to spin right from the second session. So any team would like to bat first on this track, put on a big score and avoid batting on the fourth or the fifth day,” said Tiwary, refusing to spell out the team composition.

Railways captain Sanjay Bangar said he will be re-shuffling the middle-order.

“We will make some changes in the middle order and will also bring in some all-rounder and leg-spinner Karan Sharma may get a look in,” he said.

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