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Lal believes Bengal can win this game of patience

10th March 2020
As the second day’s play of Ranji Trophy final wrapped up at Saurashtra Cricket Association today the only thing people could talk about was the placid wicket that saw only 384 runs scored and 8 wickets taken in two whole days play while a confident Bengal coach Arun Lal believes that Bengal can win this game of patience even on this wicket.
Lal said: “The match is open. The only thing is they have got runs on the board and we don’t. If we have a good start we can get these runs. We are not out of the game, certainly not. I am very proud of our bolwers, they stuck to the task.”
“I would have been happier if we could have bowled them out for 325 but that did not happen, they batted really well. In the morning session they did not take any chance and they showed us how to play on this wicket. It’s their home turf and we will take a lesson from them. It’s a game of patience,” he added.
After Saurashtra batters spent two whole days out on the wicket that Lal called ‘dead’ the game is likely to be a one-innings game and Bengal will have to overcome whatever total opponents score.
When asked about if the two-day long fielding effort would affect Bengal batters’ performance a confident Lal replied: “That’s not a concern, our players very fit.”
When asked about the reason behind two wicketless first sessions for two consecutive days the Bengal coach said: “In cricket you can’t say anything. You may get 3 wickets in the first session and not get any after that. Nobody can tell what can happen in the game. It’s a whole day bowling, fielding on a wicket that is dead. The ball doesn't come off the track, you have to put in a lot of effort for the ball to go. Am pretty happy with what our bowlers have done.”
““They got two set batsmen out there with one bating on 100 and other one on 60, so what we did was a terrific comeback,” he added saying it a terrific effort by the Bengal bowlers. Two quality batsman Vasavada and Pujara were set and probably they are the best in the country. To contain them, get them out and be in this position- I am reasonably happy,” he added.
Lal further added: “It’s not easy to bowl with the slowness of the wicket. The margin of error is very little. It’s not easy to bowl on this wicket. There was no help from the wicket and it’s getting lower and slower. There’s no concern, I think we have got a very fine bowling attack. When you are bowling fist and they are 300/5 then what you need is containment. You need to keep the runs down and wait for the moment which by the way came very late for us today.”
The Bengal coach appreciated opponent’s batters also to show the true spirit of the game by saying: “One had to work really hard to get wicket on this pitch and they know how to bat on this wicket. They showed superb patience, unbelievable. Pujara’s innings speaks volume for his concentration, for his patience. If we don’t give them any wicket, it will be a very good contest.”

Rio Dutta