Tamil Nadu hit back against Mumbai despite 337-run first-innings deficit through centuries from skipper Baba Indrajith and Pradosh Paul during Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match at Brabourne Stadium
Pradosh Paul after scoring his 100 against Mumbai at Brabourne yesterday. Pic/Ashish Raje
It is not often that teams give Mumbai a taste of their own medicine in their backyard. However, Tamil Nadu skipper Baba Indrajith woke up determined to give the Ajinkya Rahane-led side a fight regardless of the visitors’ precarious position in their ongoing Elite Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy encounter on Thursday.
Indrajith, who scored 103, pioneered his team to secure a 34-run lead as they added 318 to their overnight tally of 62 to help Tamil Nadu gain back some ground in this contest. On a day when they lost only three wickets, the skipper interestingly remarked that Mumbai’s mammoth 337-run lead prevented them from planning much for their second innings.
‘Difficult to plan’
“It is very difficult to plan when you have a lead of 300-odd runs. This morning, somehow, when I woke up, I thought I am going to bat for two days and get the team through. But I was not able to carry forward after the hundred,” the 28-year-old said in a media interaction at the end of the third day’s play.
Indrajith added, “But, on the whole, I think as a team, there was no pressure. I feel we have given a good fight. We have finished the game well. We lost just three wickets. That’s a positive for us. Going forward, tomorrow if we can bat till lunch, it will be great.”
Tamil Nadu have fought back well after the setbacks they faced in all departments in the first innings. However, their tenacious effort on the third day is not yet enough for Indrajith to eye a miraculous outright win on Friday. “… Slightly early to think about it [outright win]. Tomorrow morning is a fresh day. I am pretty sure that Mumbai will also come back hard,” he said, adding, “I am pretty sure they will push for an outright win tomorrow morning, from the position they are in. They will come hard at us. It is too early to think about it, but if we can bat through the first hour or till lunch, depending on where we are, we can take a call.”
Mumbai bowlers struggle
Pradosh Paul, 22, top-scored for Tamil Nadu as he remained unbeaten at 107 off 181 deliveries. Opener Sai Sudarshan (63) and all-rounder Vijay Shankar (43*) played a fine hand too as the Mumbai bowling unit struggled to break through their batting unit on a Brabourne Stadium track that has become significantly easier to bat on since the first day of the match.