Bengal batsman Sudeep Chatterjee scored 192 in the opening match against Baroda © AFP

Dec 13, 2014

All eyes will be on Bengal‘s newest batting sensation Sudeep Chatterjee as the hosts will have revenge on mind as they take on defending champions Karnataka in a second round group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy tournament in Kolkata on December 14.

While people are waking upto Sudeep’s talent after his brilliant 192 in the opening game of the tournament, Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla would be itching to exact a revenge after throwing away a sure shot win against R Vinay Kumar‘s men in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-finals, last month.

“That was a different format. They are quite strong as they are champions in both [four-day and one-day] formats. We will play to our potential,” Shukla said about their Hazare loss last month in Ahmedabad. Bengal were 256 for six needing 13 off the last two overs but they lost the last four wickets for the addition of six runs to concede a heartbraking six-run loss.

The task is not that easier as Karnataka are once again the team to beat boasting a formidable batting and bowling line-up. Bengal got three points against Baroda by virtue of first-innings lead with Sudeep playing a stellar role. The skipper also helped himself to a century in the second innings and got important wickets.

Fresh from their second successive title in the domestic one-dayers, the last year’s Ranji champions Karnataka have already the begun their campaign on a high trouncing zonal rivals Tamil Nadu by 285 runs after a hat-trick left-arm quick Sreenath Aravind, who also bowls occasional left-arm spin when the ball gets old.

Led by Vinay, Karnataka have an out and out seam attack with all-rounder Stuart Binny in their set-up as they would look to exploit the tinge of green at the Eden turf. Pacer Abhimanyu Mithun also is fit and Vinay Kumar looked a tad excited to exploit the conditions early on as toss may play a crucial role.

“We may even go for four-pace attack,” Vinay Kumar said when asked whether it would be easy to replace hat-trick man Aravind with Mithun. The fourth seamer would be HS Sharath.