Ranji Trophy: Two good sides are playing the final, says Tamil Nadu coach WV Raman
Tamil Nadu battle it out with Karnataka on the 8th at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. (Source: PTI)
Tamil Nadu coach Woorkeri V Raman does not view either defending champions Karnataka or his team as favourites when they cross swords in the five-day Ranji Trophy final commencing at the Wankhede Stadium on March 8.
“There’s no such thing as an underdog or a favourite. It will be a battle of confidence (of Karnataka) against a side which is willing to fight (TN),” the former India opener told reporters after a four-hour training session by his team at the venue.
While Karnataka have won the title last year, their seventh title since their maiden one in 1973-74, TN had last won the trophy for only the second time in the tournament’s history way back in 1987-88 when Raman was a playing member.
“Two good sides are playing and you will expect a competitive game,” he said while dismissing notions that the holders had an edge after having beaten his team in the league phase comprehensively at Bengaluru.
“That was three months ago and since then lot of things have happened in terms of both sides progressing. We are looking ahead and not back,” said the former left handed all rounder.
According to the 49-year-old coach, the side which seized crucial moments in the game would have an edge.
“As I see it the team which is able to identify key moments of the game and try and do what’s supposed to be done will have the last laugh.
He remarked that Karnataka had not won games on a canter in the later part of the league phase and had to fight hard at times.”
“Karnataka have not been on a canter (later on). Mumbai had the better of them (at the Wankhede in league phase) and then they had to fight hard and there was no walk in the park.
This also means they know how to handle such situations.”
“They are a good side. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We have come through lot of difficult phases and the team evolved as the tournament went on,” he added.
“If you look at a larger picture, these so-called seaming tracks and encouragement for fast bowlers, what has it produced for you except skewed figures? You have a lot of bowlers with 40-50 wickets, you can’t blame them.
“But, otherwise, in terms of the overall scenario, what exactly has it delivered for you? You still have four-five fast bowlers in the Indian team who were there even before the 8mm-grass directive came. And you haven’t had any new batsmen forcing their way into the team. It’s all about how we perceive things,” he elaborated.
Talking about neutral venues, the former left-handed all-rounder recalled some of his less-than-satisfying experiences.
“I have had a terrible experience at a neutral venue. When there were rains, the grounds men started taking off the water from on top of the covers with a tea glass and then they started pouring it where the cover fielder was to stand. What do you say about that! This has happened at a neutral venue,” he recalled.
“It is not a question of guidelines. If you pick five-six leading centres based on their recent set-up and make-up – not the administrative part but the facilities and infrastructure – I don’t think you should have any issues. The basic structure of pitches is not going to change,” he added.
On the Wankhede track prepared for the final Raman said it looked a typical one at this ground.
“It’s all about not trying to look into things and read into things. It’s a question of going out there and responding to the situations, as simple as that,” was his philosophy ahead of the game.
Source:: Indian Express