Ranji Trophy 2012-13: Harbhajan Singh alone cannot affect outcome of match, according to Jharkhand captain

Jarkhand captain Shahbaz Nadeem said that his team are not too concerned about Harbhajan Singh’s (above) presence in their Ranji Trophy quarter-final clash with Punjab © AFP

Jamshedpur: Jan 5, 2013

Jharkhand Ranji team captain Shahbaz Nadeem said the presence of senior spinner Harbhajan Singh in the rival Punjab team would not be a factor in their quarter-final match, here on January 6.

“I don’t think that a single player alone can affect the outcome of the match,” Nadeem said when asked about presence of the off-spinner in rival camp.

“We have five to six cricketers, who have been playing in Indian Premier League for different franchises including me and off-spinner Sunny Gupta for Delhi Daredevils, batsman Saurabh Tiwary for Royal Challengers, Bangalore, and Ishank Jaggi for Decan Chargers,” the left-arm spinner, said.

He said that the team was in good form and had a good track record of performing well at the upper stages of the tournament.

Referring the team composition, the Jharkhand captain said it was yet undecided, but he would like to field four bowlers in the match against Punjab.

He hailed the performance of openers Akash Verma and Rameez Nemat, who struck aggressive half centuries to share 151 runs against Services in the last league encounter.

“We have no plan to disturb the opening pair even though the regular opener Manish Vardhan, who was out of the team due to injury, will be included in the team against Punjab,” he said, adding that Vardhan would likely play one-down.

Stating that he would opt for batting if he won the toss, Nadeem said a 300-plus run at the Keenan wicket would provide a bright opportunity to the home side to mount pressure on the rivals.

The quarter-final qualification for Jharkhand would be a first as the team had last played in this stage of the Ranji Trophy in 2002 against Haryana as the undivided Bihar Ranji team.