Former champions, Tamil Nadu will have the home advantage against Baroda when the two teams clash in the league match of group Elite-B for the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament starting in Chennai on Thursday.
Baroda boasts off a balanced squad with solid batting strength and inform spinners but the team had not had enough preparation and lack match practice compared to the hosts, who have been busy during the last 45 days — playing in KSCA and Moin-ul-dawla tournaments and Buchi Babu tournament at home.
However, both the teams had strenuous training sessions at the Chepauk on Wednesday and Baroda captain Aditya Waghmode pinned his hopes on the batting strengths, especially of experienced Yusuf Pathan and Hardik Pandya, who is in a good nick.
Baba Indrajith, Tamil Nadu vice captain, said: “We have to be positive and exhibit patience at the slow pitch which is likely to take turn from day two. He said Laxmipathy Balaji the bowling coach-cum-player and Vijay Shankar are not available for the Baroda match.”
Tamil Nadu had beaten Baroda squarely during the last two seasons and they are used to the slow turning pitch. It would be a test of skills for Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund, who is a solid hitter of the ball.
Baroda would be depending on bowlers such as Swapnil Singh and Murtuja Vohdra to provide them the breakthroughs during the match.
After assessing the conditions here, Pathan, who is the leading all rounder for Baroda, said they cannot take the hosts lightly.
He said his team is not in great form but they would look to put some extra pressure on hosts’ spinners.
Tamil Nadu: Abhinav Mukund (C), B Aparajith, R Prasanna, Dinesh Karthik, B Indrajith (VC), Vijay Shankar, Malolan Rangarajan, J Kaushik, Rahil S Shah, M Mohammed, D T Chandrasekar, L Vignesh and Kaushik Gandhi.
Baroda: Aditya Waghmode (C), Deepak Hodda, Yusuf Pathan, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Devdhar, Gagandeep Singh, Bhargav Bhatt, Baba shafi Pathan, Pinal Shah, Murtuja Vahora, Pinal Shah, Monil Patel, Hitesh Solanki, Sagar Mangalorkar, Swapnil Singh and Bhagav Patel.