Ranchi/Bhubaneswar: Bengal defeated an inexperienced Odisha team by seven wickets in their first game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy at JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on Monday. Bengal collected all the four points from this game.
Bengal chased down the 158-run target in 18.4 overs with both the openers Shreevats Goswami and V Singh scoring fifties. Singh was the first man to depart scoring 64 after an impressive 134-run opening stand. Skipper Manoj Tewary got out early to Abhishek Raut while Goswami (79) was picked up by left-arm spinner Jayanta Behera.
he zonal leg shouldn’t be much of a problem for Manoj Tiwary and his men. Over the past few seasons, they have made sure to finish among the top two sides of the eastern zone. But the actual test lies in the next round when up against the stronger sides.
So, to keep their prospects bright in the next phase, Bengal need to ensure they keep things in order in this zonal leg with little or no blips.
Some changes have been made from the Ranji squad, as shorter-version specialists in the form of Vivek Singh and Pramod Chandila are included and expected to play an important role for the team in this competition.
“We are a very balanced side and have done well in the shortest format of the game. But that is in the past.
“From tomorrow, it’s a new tournament which brings in new challenges. Odisha are a very talented side and on their day, they can surprise anyone. Having said that, we are also ready for everything,” captain Manoj Tiwary told the CAB website.
“Bowling wise, we may go in with three pacers – Ashok Dinda, Kanishk Seth and Sayan Ghosh – while Amir Gani and Anurag Tiwari could be the most likely spinners,” said a team source.
However, the combination may change as Bengal will finalise the XI only after seeing how the day’s first match in the same venue – Assam versus Tripura – pans out.
Bengal are aware that conditions early morning will have an effect on the game. “It’s very cold in the morning and that will have an effect. But our boys have prepared well and whatever comes our way, we are ready to take up the challenge and deal with that,” coach Sairaj Bahutule said.
On the other hand, Odisha too are hoping for a new beginning altogether under new captain Anurag Sarangi. Govind Poddar, who led the side in the Ranji Trophy, does not even find a place in the T20 squad.
The Odisha squad appears to have had an overhaul, with quite a few new faces making their way in.
Like Odisha, Assam too have replaced their Ranji captain Gokul Sharma with Abu Nechim Ahmed, who has led the team in the past and continues to be a consistent performer.
Odisha will be playing its next game against Assam in the East Zone competition of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy at the same venue.