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Bengal hope to carry form in Super League


20th January 2018
Bengal will begin the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as favourites when ten teams lock horns to express their superiority in the shortest format of the game. However, they will be keenly contested for the top spot by Mumbai, Karnataka and Delhi who have had a good run of form in the zonal meets.
With the Super League stage returning from the Zonal format to the team format, each state will try to display their dominance in the T20 meet keeping an eye on the IPL in the offing.
While Bengal has a very balanced side with the top four—Sreevats Goswami, Vivek Singh, Manoj Tiwary and Sudip Chatterjee-- in fine nick Anustup Majumdar and Writtick Chatterjee are a handful on their own terms. Bengal also have a balanced bowling attack that has always fired on the home conditions. And with skipper Manoj Tiwary finding his mojo with the ball, Bengal looks to be in good stead.
Manoj, on the eve of the tie, spelled cautious aggression: “What or how we played in the Zonal round is a matter of the past. We have to think ahead. At the super league stage all teams are tough. So all matches will be hard fought. We will be playing with the SG ball for the first time and that too under lights. The wicket here is not as flat as Jharkhand. After relaying, the wicket at Eden Gardens has a bit of grass. So it might be a low scoring match at here.”

Asked if batting would be a challenge with dew factor coming in, he said: “We have seven batsmen at least who will be playing under lights for the first time. Then there is the factor of playing the SG ball. So it will be a challenge.”
On the fast bowlers not getting many wickets, he said: “The pitch was spin friendly. Here we will see the pacers come into play. They will get a much more favourable atmosphere here. We expect the ball to swing and seam under lights. Scoring runs will not be that easy.”
Asked about the team he said: “The team is consistently chasing totals set for them and the bowlers are in fine nick and have been able to restrict the opposition. A captain could not ask for more. We will, however, not be complacent and try to plug in whatever loopholes there may be.”
A bird’s eye view of the teams in the super league with performance in the zonals:

North Zone

1. Delhi

Batsmen to watch out:
Rishabh Pant 278
Gautam Gambhir 115

Bowler:

Pavan Negi 7
Pradeep Sangwan 6
X-Factor: Gautam Gambhir

2. Punjab

Batsmen to watch out:
Manan Vohra 215
Mandeep Singh 199

Bowler:

Harbhajan Singh 5
Manpreet Singh Grewal 5
X-Factor: Yuvraj Singh

South Zone

1. Karnataka

Batsmen to watch out:
Karun Nair 236
Mayank Agarwal 166

Bowler:

Pravin Dubey 7
Stuart Binny 6
X-Factor: Manish Pandey

2. Tamil Nadu

Batsmen to watch out:
B Aparajith 113
M S Washington Sundar 103

Bowler:

Vignesh K 10
Athisayaraj Davidson 10
X-Factor: Vijay Shankar

East Zone

1. Bengal

Batsmen to watch out:
Shreevats Goswami 232 and
Vivek Singh 203

Bowler:

Manoj Tiwary 9
X-Factor: Manoj Tiwary

2. Jharkhand

Batsmen to watch out:
Ishank Jaggi 213
Ishan Krishnan 162

Bowler:

Monu Kumar 8
Shahbaaz Nadeem 5
X-Factor: Saurabh Tiwary

West Zone

1. Mumbai

Batsmen to watch out:
Siddhesh Lad 162
J G Bista 106
Bowler:

Dhawal Kulkarni 5
Akash Parkar 3
X-Factor: Surya Kumar Yadav

2. Rajasthan

Batsmen to watch out:
Ankit Lamba 219
T N Dhillon 121

Bowler:

S K K Ahmed 9
D L Chahar 7
X-Factor: Aniket Chaudhury

Central Zone

1. Baroda

Batsmen to watch out:
Kedar Devdhar 208
Deepak Jagbir Hooda 157

Bowler:

A Sheth 10
L I Meriwala 5
X-Factor: Swapnil Singh

2. Uttar Pradesh

Batsmen to watch out:
Akshdeep Nath 122
Rinku Singh 115

Bowler:

Amit Mishra 9
Ankit Rajpoot 6
X-Factor: Suresh Raina

CAB MEDIA DESK
Arindam Basu