Saurashtra cock-a- hoop, another stern test for confident TN

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Chennai, Nov 30 (UNI) With nine points from three outings, including an upset outright win over Rajasthan last week, Saurashtra go into another important match against host Tamil Nadu who are still struggling to find their touch in the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy superleague match at the M A Chidambaram stadium here from tomorrow.

Saurashtra coach Debu Mitra said the team was in a positive frame of mind and the talented youngsters in the team like India Under 19 batsman Chiteswar Pujara and Himanshu Kotak have been performing well.

Chiteswar has been having a great run with the bat, with knocks of 109 against Himachal Pradesh and 148 against Rajasthan in the last match. They gained three points from Himachal, one from Delhi and the full five from Rajasthan.

However, with Tamil Nadu enjoying the advantage of playing on home turf, Saurashtra's bowlers medium pacers Sandip Jobanputra and Sandi Maniar, and the spinners, left armer Ravindra Jadeja and offie Kamlesh Makwana would be tested hard to contain the likes of captain S Badrinath. The skipper found his touch again with a century knock against Karnataka. He is looking for more by his own admission.

Tamil Nadu, who let go an opportunity of forcing an outright win against Karnataka, would be looking for it in this game. They have just one point from their first outing against Maharashtra, an innings defeat againt reigning champions Mumbai and three for first innings lead in their last outing against Karnatka, to tally just four.

They have brought in another young batsman E Ramesh in place of left hander S Anirudha, who has been dropped from the squad.

Their batsman would be under pressure again to put up a formidable total to press for an outright win, while the bowlers would be up against Pujara and Shitanshu's form to contain them. The absence of off spinner and batsman R Aswhin, who has been ruled out for atleast three games due to injury. The onus would be on left arm spinner R Ramkumar, who has been picking up wickets.

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