Tamil Nadu coach, D Vasu, said he was happy with the team selected for the Ranji Trophy as it boasts of a lot of experience. TN will open its Ranji campaign against a formidable foe in Karnataka in Dindigul on December 9.
Vasu refused to read too much into Tamil Nadu going down to Karnataka three times this season, two of which have come in the finals of Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
“Karnataka has a good bunch of players. I don’t think they are our bogey team and winning and losing is common in sport. We have moved on from those two defeats to them this year in Vijay Hazare final and Syed Mushtaq T20 final. We are confident of putting up a good show in the Ranji trophy opener next week. I was pleased with the effort of my boys although we lost by a whisker in the Syed Mushtaq final,” added Vasu.
Elaborating on it further, Vasu pointed out that there was no mental block with regard to playing against Karnataka. “Not a psychological issue.. we just had bad luck. In the Hazare final, it came down to rain and run-rate and the Mushtaq Ali final we lost by just one run. TN cricketers are as good as anybody and can do well,” he added.
Asked whether TN will qualify for knockouts, something they haven’t done for the last two years, he said, “We have been placed in a difficult group consisting of Mumbai, Karnataka and Saurashtra. Our challenge is to get as many outright wins as possible.
“That was something we lacked last season.” On Dinesh Karthik’s availability for the entire season, he replied, “I haven’t heard anything from him about picking and choosing matches. You should ask the selectors on this.” About the new find M Siddharth, a left-arm spinner who shone in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, Vasu said he is a promising talent but he cannot be judged based on one or two performances.
“Siddharth is a good talent. We have to see... we cannot judge him over one or two performances.” On the likelihood of weather playing spoilsport in Dindigul in the Ranji opener and the team losing out on crucial points, he said, “We can only focus on things under our control.
“There is a good drainage facility and supersopper there. There is little we can do if it rains on the day. That was something that happened during our Vijay Hazare final as well.”