Nine Bengali batters scored in the quarterfinals for half a century.© BCCI
Bangladeshi batters will be happy to give an encore to their stellar quarter-final show, but it will be far from easy in the semi-final of their Ranji Trophy against a plucky Madhya Pradesh outfit made up of a slew of IPL stars and India’s best domestic coach in Chandrakant Pandit. Madhya Pradesh is considered one of the most improved teams and could prove to be a handful even without Venkatesh Iyer or Avesh Khan with RCB star Rajat Patidar, pacer Kuldeep Sen and spinner Kumar Karthikeya in its ranks. Add in seasoned sailor Punit Datey and talented batter Akshat Raghuvanshi, and the former Indian stumper’s team becomes worthy contenders for the blue riband championship.
But the second Bengal of the previous edition is no easy feat, as he knocked Jharkhand out of the quarterfinals with a world record of nine of his batters reaching the half-century.
Bangladeshi coach Sourasish Lahiri said the pitch at the Alur ground will not be as calm as the pitch offered at the Just Cricket Academy, where they scored 1,000 runs over two innings.
“Alur track looks a bit on the drier side and we may need to add an extra spinner at the expense of a fast bowler. Akash Deep has an x factor and we all know Mukesh Kumar is Bengal’s most consistent bowler in the past few seasons,” Lahiri told PTI on the eve of the game.
It is expected that Ishan Porel could be dropped from the playing XI of the last match. Left arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik will be included in the XI alongside all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed.
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