Hope for Domestic Cricket – The new Ranji Season!




England have already landed in India and are currently playing their second practice game before the big Test series begins. The first game generated a lot of buzz as it saw Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina take the field but the fizz seemed to have fizzled out as the second game against Mumbai A is being played to empty stands and do not make the headlines either.

Hope for Domestic Cricket - The new Ranji Season!

Hope for Domestic Cricket – The new Ranji Season!

However, the refreshing change is that the entire media seems to be capturing 400 odd domestic players playing all over the country – the Ranji Trophy. The presence of the big Test stars, atleast for the first round definitely did its bit to attract attention and then a Sachin Tendulkar century on the first day of the season can never be bad.

Also Read: Ranji Trophy 2012 – fixtures and live score

There is much in it for the players as well. The Test team no more looks settled; the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman has left a huge hole in the middle order. Suresh Raina is never a safe bet as the No.6 batsman as the likes of Badrinath and Yuvraj Singh try to get back into the national team. True Cheteshwar Pujara might have just have done enough in the home series against New Zealand to seal the No.3 spot, but as a youngster you are only a few failures away from having your head for sale. And with a huge home season ahead, the likes of Rahane and Unmukt Chand will have the selector’s eyes on them throughout.

The BCCI technical committee, now led by Anil Kumble, has done their bit by revamping the entire structure. The 27 teams have been grouped into pools of 9 each, thus getting rid of the Plate and Elite divisions. The top three teams from Pool A and B while top two from Pool C make it to the Quarterfinals. This means that each player gets 8 games plus the knockouts to prove his worth, while the performances from what was earlier the Plate division doesn’t go unnoticed.

The most refreshing change is the change in the points system. Teams will now be motivated to go for the outright win which will give them 6 points, rather than 5 for win by virtue of a first innings lead. Furthermore, a team can earn 7 points if they win by an innings or by 10 wickets, thus encouraging teams to be aggressive rather than just sitting happy with the first innings lead. The knockouts will go into the sixth day, if a first innings lead is not achieved within five days. This will atleast ensure that a team does not get knocked out on the basis of run Rate as a few teams found it the hard way last year.

It may surprise a few captains to see a tinge of grass on the grounds. With Anil Kumble and Co. watching things closely, also expect a few unheard names to hit the headlines this year. The Indian pace battery looks suspect with only Zaheer Khan being the only spearhead who is assured of a place in the playing XI when the teams walk on to the field on November  15th. Although no new pacer has hit the headlines in the first round of games, it was encouraging to see Umesh Yadav run through the Haryana lineup on Day 1 of the new season.

All in all, we are set for a long season of intriguing cricket which stretches all the way up to January. With a long home season ahead, it’s the best opportunity for the Badarinaths, Rahanes, Rainas and Dhawans to stake a permanent place in the national team while players like Yuvraj and Harbhajan have a point to prove to the selectors.

For now, let’s celebrate the return to form of a certain Sachin Tendulkar

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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