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Bengal look to start Ranji season on a high vs UP

12th December 2022
Bengal will aim to begin their Ranji Trophy campaign on a winning note when they take on Uttar Pradesh in the Elite Group A clash at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
Bengal, who will play their first two matches at home, have been clubbed with Baroda, Odisha, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nagaland in the Group A.
The Laxmi Ratan Shukla-coached side, who displayed a fighting performance but missed out on silverware in their previous two tournament — Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy, will be raring to give their best and begin this prestigious four-day tournament on a high.
But Bengal will miss the services of the experienced batsman and captain Abhimanyu Easwaran for the first two games.
The right-handed batsman has been called up for national duty as a replacement for Rohit Sharma in the forthcoming Bangladesh Test series.
In his absence, Bengal will be led by senior batsman Manoj Tiwary, whose experience will be very vital in the dressing room.
Besides Manoj, the experience of Anustup Majumdar will also come handy in the batting department.
Sudip Kumar Gharami, Koushik Ghosh, Abhishek Das will look to deliver with the bat and get runs under their belt.
All-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed will aim to make it count both with the bat and the ball.
While Akash Deep, Ishan Porel, Geet Puri, Ravi Kant Singh, Durgesh Dubey make a thrilling fast bowling department to choose from.
The team will take a lot of confidence going into the tournament keeping in mind their performance in the last edition of the Ranji season, where they reached the semifinals after a thrilling show.
“Preparations have been spot on, in the batting, bowling and fielding department. Now it’s about executing the plans and giving our best. Our main aim to win every session which will lead us to winning the match,” Manoj said after team’s practice session at the Eden Gardens on Monday.
Speaking on his batting and the opportunity to lead Bengal once again, he said “It is always an honor to lead Bengal. I am looking forward to it and giving my best. Regarding my batting, I mainly focus on my rhythm and my confidence. I am in good touch now and hope to execute that on the match day.”
Coach Laxmi Ratan also sounded confident prior to the match. “We have to play hard from the word go, that will be our plan. Playing consistently throughout the four days will be vital. Wearing the Bengal jersey boosts you up always and that motivation will keep our boys gunning for glory,” said Shukla.
On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh team will be led by Karan Sharma with promising stars Rinku Singh, Priyam Garg and Shivam Mavi making the side a competitive one.

Arindam Basu