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Ranji Trophy semifinal | We lost the match at the toss: TN coach Kulkarni


Backing: Kulkarni said that he wouldn’t fully blame Sai Kishore as the skipper’s instincts had worked well in the tournament.
| Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

At the end of day two, R. Sai Kishore defended his decision to bat first on a pitch with generous grass covering that was friendly to the seamers, saying he felt batting last would be difficult.

The Tamil Nadu skipper said, “I do a lot of things out of my instinct. It was my decision, and that instinct has worked so far. Only by day five, we will know if it is correct.”

Unfortunately, the TN batters did not put up a fight to ensure either the match lasted five days or Mumbai batted again.

After the humiliating innings defeat, TN coach Sulakshan Kulkarni did not mince words when he said his side lost the match at 9 a.m. on the first day.

“The way we played, we could have done better. We won the toss, and we should have bowled. We planned everything and decided to play three seamers by dropping a batter who had done well. The main idea was that if we win the toss, we will bowl,” said Kulkarni.

While he was critical of the captain’s decision to bat first, the coach felt he could see why the skipper chose to do what he did. “I wouldn’t fully blame him either because if you look at it positively, it has worked for him, and he got the team to the semis.”

Though Sai Kishore was the best bowler in the match after taking six wickets, he lacked support from the other end, and the coach conceded that fellow left-arm spinner S. Ajith Ram was under-utilised.

Despite the disappointment of the loss and the efforts of the batters who failed to adapt to pacer-friendly conditions, the 57-year-old praised their efforts this season. “A few batters scored more than 500 runs, and Indrajith played some crucial knocks against Karnataka, Punjab and even today. It gives a lot of pleasure watching his batting.”

“We have done well to reach the semifinals after a long time, though a trophy would have been better and icing on the cake,” said Kulkarni.



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