Sai Kishore
Image Source : PTI Tamil Nadu captain Sai Kishore

The ongoing edition of Ranji Trophy is reaching its climax as Mumbai beat Tamil Nadu to make it to the final of the tournament for the record 48th time in history. Tamil Nadu team, led by R Sai Kishore, put up a disappointing show with the bat in both innings. But the head coach Sulakshan Kulkarni’s comments after the match raised quite a few eyebrows as he blamed captain’s decision at the toss to bat first for the crushing loss against Mumbai.

He stated that the team was mentally prepared that the team winning the toss would bowl first and given that he is from Mumbai, felt that he knew the conditions better. But then he added that captain Kishore had a different instinct and eventually the decison backfired. Tamil Nadu lost their opener Sai Sudharsan on the fourth ball of the innings and were soon reduced to 42/5 in the first innings after opting to bat first in helpful conditions for bowlers. 

“I always speak straightforward — we lost the match at 9 o’clock on day one. The moment I saw the wicket I exactly knew what we were going to get. Everything was set, we won the toss, as a coach, as a Mumbaikar, I know the conditions well. We should have bowled but the captain had some different instinct,” Sulakshan said after the match. “When I saw that they had played on a different pitch in the quarter-final and what wicket they gave, (that) moment I realised that this is a seaming-friendly wicket and it was going to be a very tough match, we would have to play really well to win this game.

“Ultimately he [Sai Kishore] is the boss. I can give my feedback and inputs (on) the kind of wickets and Mumbai’s mindset also,” he added. As for the match, after opting to bat, Tamil Nadu were skittled for just 146 runs but the bowlers led the comeback for them reducing Mumbai to 106/7. However, things went wrong from here on as Mumbai’s lower order yet again stood strong for them with Shardul Thakur scoring a century this time.

Tanush Kotian had a brilliant game with the bat for second consective innings smashing 89 runs as they were bundled out for 378 with a massive lead of 232 runs. Tamil Nadu batters couldn’t withstand the pressure in the second innings too and crumbled to 162 with only Baba Indrajith putting up a fight scoring 70 runs.


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