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Friday, October 6, 2017

Favourites Tamil Nadu bundled out by Andhra at home : 2017 season

Can you identify this great batsman of Tamilnadu ??  

The 84th  edition of India's  premier domestic tournament, the Ranji Trophy, begins Friday.   Tamil Nadu looked pretty strong on paper – Abhinav Mukund, Murali Vijay, Kaushik Gandhi, B Indrajit and B Aparajit, Ravi Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Rahil Shah – at home ground Chepauk – but what a bad first day, it turned out to be !!
Way back in Nov 1975, TN captained by mercurial S. Venkatraghavan  played Andhra at Vijayawada and won by an innings and 143 runs.  AG Satwender Singh was the top scorer with 94 in total of 338/6 declared.  Stylish TE Srinivasan made 59.  Remember there was a left arm spinner by name D Meherbaba.  Andhra was bundeled out for 109 on a matting wicket.  Kalyanasundaram had 3/33; Venkat had figures fo 23-12-32-5.  Following on they were shot out for 86 – Kali took 2; P Mukund 1; Venkat 4 and VV Kumar, that great leg spinner 3

Those were days when there was the Zonal format, TN competing with Andhra, Kerala, Hyderabad and Karnataka.  Top 2 teams would move to quarters and often Karnataka would be one of them with either TN or Hyderabad !

Life has changed the fast lane ~  the Technical Committee of the BCCI has done away with forcing teams to play their games at neutral venues after it proved to be a mighty failure last season. Also, in a major shift in the format of the competition, the 28 competing teams  are now drawn in 4 group instead of the 3 in vogue.  TN is in group C alongside :   Andhra Pradesh, Baroda, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Odisha,  and  Tripura.  Mumbai have won the trophy 41 times. 

As you would know, the  Ranji Trophy was launched following a meeting of the Indian board in July 1934, and the competition began the following season with the winners receiving a trophy donated by the Maharajah of Patiala. It was named after KS Ranjitsinhji, the Indian prince and fine batsman who played 15 Tests for England between 1896 and 1902 and introduced new strokes to the game, including the late cut and the leg glance. The Ranji format  currently has  28 teams, with 21 of the 29 states in India and Delhi having at least one representation.

From its inception until the 2001–02 season, the teams were grouped geographically into four or five zones – North, West, East, and South, with Central added in 1952–53. Initial matches were played within the zones on a knock-out basis until 1956–57, and thereafter on a league basis, to determine a winner; then, the five individual zone winners competed in a knock-out tournament, leading to a final which decided the winner of the Ranji Trophy. From the 1970–71 season, the knock-out stage was expanded to the top two teams from each zone, a total of ten qualifying teams. This was expanded again to the top three from each zone in 1992–93, a total of fifteen qualifying teams; between 1996–97 and 1999–2000, the fifteen qualifying teams competed in a secondary group stage, with three groups of five teams, and the top two from each group qualified for a six-team knock-out stage; in all other years until 2001–02, a full fifteen-team knock-out tournament was held.

At Chepauk today, Tamil Nadu faltered, Baba Aparajith's half-century was the sole innings of prominence for Tamil Nadu as they were dismantled for 176 by Andhra's bowlers in Chennai. Bhargav Bhatt and Y Prithvi Raj shared seven wickets between them to run through TN's batting line-up, while Bandaru Ayyappa and Shoaib Md Khan picked the rest.  

Not a great news for the Cricket lover of Tamil Nadu.  The man at the start is Thirumalai Echambadi Srinivasan, who unfortunately is no more.  He played just one test at Auckland in Mar 1981 -  scored 29 & 19 and never played another test.  He played 2 one dayers too.  He was ignored after that one Test - the next series was at home against England, but the Tamil Nadu batsman did not make it even to the South Zone team .. ..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Oct 2017.

TE photo credit : espn cricinfo.com

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