Laxmi Ratan Shukla has recently been appointed as Bengal captain for upcoming Ranji season © IANS
Laxmi Ratan Shukla has recently been appointed as Bengal captain for upcoming Ranji season © IANS

By Sandipan Banerjee

Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the Bengal all-rounder and an important member of East Zone squad said that the Lahli pitch will suit the East zone pacers in their crucial Semi-final of Duleep Trophy against South Zone. East Zone beat a strong West Zone unit at the same venue, in the quarterfinal. Shukla feels this experience of playing at the venue will also help the Manoj Tiwary led team.

East Zone pacers performed really well against the West Zone batting unit. It was mainly because of bowlers like Rana Dutta, Ashok Dinda, Basant Mohanty, East zone was successful to beat Cheteshwar Pujara’s team. In an exclusive chat with CricketCountry, the Bengal veteran said, “We had a good game at this venue [Lahli]. Manoj [Tiwary], Sudip [Chatterjee], Basant [Mohanty], Rana [Dutta], Saurabh [Tiwary] everyone chipped in. In the next game we will give South Zone a tough fight.” Shukla himself played a counter attacking knock of 54 on a difficult wicket which helped his team to post a decent score in the first innings.

Shukla is the only cricketer, who played more than 100 first-class games for Bengal. He played most of his games at the Eden Gardens, which is currently celebrating it’s 150 years. Talking about his memories at this historic venue, the newly appointed Bengal captain said, “It’s great that my home ground has a rich history. I have played so many matches here. Every match in this ground was a memorable moment of my career.”

Manoj Tiwary led East Zone will take on a strong South Zone side, led by Vinay Kumar in the semi-final of Duleep Trophy 2014-15 staring from October 22.

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)