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Saturday, January 21, 2012

the dull drudgery of Ranji Finals - TN Vs Rajasthan

Not many would be following the present finals of Ranji Trophy between Tamilnadu and Rajasthan played at Chepauk, which has become a great disadvertisement for cricket.  Played to empty stands, even when there is no entry fee – the premier tournament has driven people away.  This is no statement on the dull drudgery of Rajasthan inching way to 404 in 180 overs.  Nothing wrong with them – simply they want to ensure that they do not lose and if Tamilnadu is not capable of taking more than 2 wickets, they cannot be blamed.  But the blame would lie squarely on the Board, the persons incharge of Cricket administration at Various club levels, ex-players involved with the team, the managers and host of other officials – who are all making money bleeding the game to its desperation.  

Vineet Saxena and Akash Chopra cross
Pic courtesy :

Ranji is the Premier annual tournament having 15 teams in the Elite division and 12 teams in plate division.  Elites are divided into 2 groups and matches are played on round robin league.  The top 3 teams qualify for knock out.  Plate is 2 group of 6 teams each.  6 teams from Elite and 2 teams from Plate play the Knock out leading to the Finals.  Only the Finals is 5 day affair of 6 hours of play each day.   Teams consists of  15 Players accompanied by a Physio and Trainer apart from the Coach and Manager

And do you know the Prize money at stake ………….  Imagine… even your wildest of the imaginations could be way off the mark.  [source BCCI : ]  Drink a cup of water.  The losing Semi finalists get 50 lakhs each; the losing Finalist gets 1 crore and the Winner takes a purse of 2 Crore !!!!!!!!!!!   The winner of Duleep trophy get 15 lakhs; Irani 10 lakhs.  Senior Womens One day trophy winner gets 3 lakhs !!

For ages, it is becoming an unwritten rule that Toss is the most vital.  You win the toss, bat first without hesitation, amass runs mostly by staying put, wear down the opponent and mostly win by First innings lead.   My memory takes back to the finals in 1981/82  at Delhi in March 1982 – a 5 day match.  Karnataka played first.  Roger Michael H Binny scored 115; Brijesh Patel 124, stylish Sudhakar Rao 71, Kirmani 116, Ranjit Kanwilkar 116 – as they were all out after 255 overs making 705.

Ranjit Kanwilkar,  an all-rounder was only 21 and was considered to be an exciting prospect.  Years later  he was among the many dead in an accident when coaches fell into lake Ashtamudi Kayal in July 1988.    Island Express was running between Bangalore and Kanyakumari.  Delhi bowling was in the hands of Madanlal, Mohinder Amarnath,  Maninder (who went for 204 runs), Shukla and Kirti Azad.  Chasing  706 is certainly daunting though Delhi had other plans.  Raman Lamba scored 36, Gursharan Singh made 101; Surinder Amarnath fell cheaply.  Kirti Azad,  Surinder Khanna, Madanlal all made useful runs – Mohinder was rock steady and made 185.  At one stage Delhi were 589 for 8 -  116 short……….   Shulka made an unbeaten 69 and Rajesh Peter made 67 in an unbroken stand  as Delhi took the lead.  Hapless  Binny, Khanvilkar, Vijaykrishna, Raghuram Bhat all went for 100 +   As there was no rule for unfinished match, the match went into the sixth day enabling the hosts to gain first innings lead and mercifully stopped at that. 

At Chepauk at end of day 2, Vineet Saxena remained unconquered for the second successive day as he notched his career-best score and became the 21st batsman to score a double-century in a Ranji Trophy final, breaking the drought after fourteen years.   There has been some criticism on the Team on their 2+ per over run rate but it was patience which subdued performance on these 2 days.   Chopra could not complete his century and only 15 runs were scored in the first hour.  TN cannot criticize the opposition but only blame themselves for the poor bowling, absence of any strategy and surrendering meekly.

Understand that the Rules state that in the  event of incomplete first innings, the winner will be decided on the run rate, provided the team batting second plays at least 30 overs.

As I post this now, Rajasthan were finally all out for 621  with J Kaushik (3), Aushik Srinivas (4), Sunny Gupta (3) taking wickets.  Aushik Srinivas gave 192 in 85 overs while Balaji and Yo Mahesh went wicketless.  Now what will Tamilnadu do and what will be their game plan ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. so do you know the score now ? - Raj

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