Ranji Trophy 2016-17 semi-final preview: Spirited Tamil Nadu take on defending champions Mumbai
Published - Dec 31, 2016 4:53 pm | Updated - Dec 31, 2016 4:58 pm
Mumbai and Tamil Nadu are known to be the stalwart teams in Ranji Trophy history set to face each other in the Ranji Trophy 2016-17 semi-final on New Year’s day. The two teams kicked off the season facing each other in the first round at Lahli, where Mumbai closely won the game by 2 wickets. Probably this might be the first time Tamil Nadu would start as favorites over Mumbai.
Injury concerns to crucial Mumbai players is one of the reasons while Tamil Nadu’s all-round show in the season so far led by their pace attack is the other. This would be the TN’s best chance to add a Ranji Trophy title to their kitty, having crushed a strong Karnataka side in the quarters. While Mumbai would have a lot of things to work on as they were in trouble for quite some part of the quarter-final.
The experience of the pressure helped them sneak in a close win to make it to the semis. Tamil Nadu might not give that many chances for Mumbai like Hyderabad did. The Saurashtra Cricket Stadium at Rajkot has a reputation of producing rank turners or batting paradises for the home side but with neutral venues this year, they have rolled out pace friendly tracks. Both the teams would take the same as they have been more reliable on pace in this season.
Players to watch out for:
Siddhesh Lad scored 110 and 46 in the quarter-finals helping his team to bail out of troubles. Lad is known to score in tough conditions and in important situations and matches. He would be the one guy Tamil Nadu’s bowling attack should be targeting.
Dinesh Karthik had a great season with the bat scoring 664 run at an average of 60.36. He was seen taking on opposition bowlers by attacking them as his tournament strike rate of 68.73 says the same. Watch out for him scoring something like 41 off 30 balls which he did in 2nd innings of quarter-finals.
Mumbai brought in the 17-year old young Prithvi Shaw in place of Kevin Almeida and is expected to open with Praful which could be the only change from the previous game for Mumbai.
Mumbai XI (Probable): Aditya Tare (C) (wk), Prithvi Shaw, Praful Waghela, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Abhishek Nayar, Shardul Thakur, Tushar Deshpande, Akshay Girap, Vijay Gohil.
Tamil Nadu might not change their winning combination. They could continue with the same XI unless they find a rank turner and are forced to bring in a spinner.
Tamil Nadu XI (Probable): Abhinav Mukund, L Suryaprakash / N Jagadeesan, Kaushik Gandhi, Baba Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Baba Indrajith, Vijay Shankar, R Aushik Srinivas, A Aswin Crist, K Vignesh, T Natarajan.
Head to Head in Ranji Trophy:
Mumbai have a clear-cut record over Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy as they won in 15 outright games out of 26 while Tamil Nadu winning in only 3.
|Matches||Mumbai’s Wins||Tamil Nadu’s Wins||Draw (Mumbai 1st inns lead)||Draw (Tamil Nadu 1st inns lead)|
Even the previous encounter which was played earlier in this season was pocketed by Mumbai. It was their first meet on a neutral venue. The coming semis will be their 2nd such meeting in Ranji Trophy.
The only thing that will cheer Tamil Nadu is the two teams’ last encounter in a knockout game went in TN’s way. They took the first innings lead in 2011/12 season semis to make into finals.