Panaji, Nov 14 (UNI) A keen contest is on cards as host Goa, fresh from their impressive victory over Haryana, will clash with strong Railways in their crucial four-day Ranji Plate 'B' encounter to be played at the MCC ground in Margao from tomorrow.
The Railway squad looks a powerful side on paper and has some players who have played for the country in Tests and ODIs. Murali Kartik, who was selected as captain, will miss the match tomorrow as he is donning the national duty.
Host Goa, too, has a strong batting line up with talented batsmen Sagun Kamat, all rounder captain J Arun Kumar, Rohit Asnodkar, wicket-keeper batsman Ajay Ratra, and Manoj Joglekar. Stylish opener Swapnil Asnodkar and medium pacer Saurab Bandekar, both of whom missed the last match as they were nursing injuries, have fortified the Goa side.
Goa left-arm spinner Sadab Jakati, who claimed 10 wickets, and all rounder medium pacer Robin D'Souza, who claimed five wickets in the first match, also look dangerous. They will be assisted by all rounder Saurab Bandekar and off spinner Aditya Angle.
Goa captain J Arun Kumar claimed that his side is a well balanced one with six batsmen, three medium pacers and two spinners, and would do well against Railways. Players are in buoyant mood and their morale is high after winning againt Haryana in the lung opener. Asnodkar and Saurab also passed their fitness test today and both will play tomorrrow.
Playing on home turf is an advantage and the players would play their own game and put up a good show to win the match against the visitors, the Goa skipper said.
A confident-looking Railway captain Sanjay Bangar is also optimistic of doing well and win the match. He said though Railways won their opening match against Jammu&Kashmir comfortably by an inning and 88 runs, Goa is a strong team and ''we will not take them lightly as they will be playing on home turf''.
He said Jammu and Kashmir was not a strong opponent. ''Our main aim is to return back to Elite Group and the next four matches will be important for us,'' Bangar said.
The visitors look strong both in bowling and batting departments.
Their bowling department is safe in the hands of medium pacers Harvinder Singh, Santosh Saxena, all rounder captain Bangar, Musavir Khote, left arm spinner Madan Yadav and off spinner Kulmani Paridha.
Harvinder and Madan Yadav had claimed six wickets each, while Santosh Saxena and Bangar had claimed four each against Jammu&Kashmir in the last match.
Railways also boast of established all rounder Sanjay Bangar, opener Amit Pagnis, Siddharth Joshi, Karan Sharma and Sanjiv Sanyal who are in good nick.
Team from: Railway: Sanjay Bangar (Captain), Harvinder Singh (V-captain), Amit Pagnis, Siddharth Joshi, Harshad Rawle, Sanjiv Sanyal, Raja Ali, Karan Sharma, Kulmani Paridha, Madan Yadav, Santosh Saxena, Rahul Dev, Mushvir Khote, Sabir Ali and Mahesh Rawant.
Goa: J Arun Kumar (Captain), Swapnil Asnodkar, Rohit Asnodkar, Sagun Kamat, Manoj Joglekar, Ajay Ratra, Saurabh Bandekar, Robin D'Souza, Shadab Jakati, Aditya Angle, Harshad Gadekar, Ryan D'Souza, Aniket Desai and Sahil Dhuri.