Rajkot: A circumspect Bengal batting line-up will look to make amends against Saurashtra on a batting paradise in a Ranji Trophy Group A league encounter starting here on Saturday. Rajkot has been known for producing belters ideally suited for run-feasts and Ravindra Jadeja's triple century in the last match against Railways was a testimony to that.
Toss will certainly be a crucial factor as the matches in Rajkot have traditionally been decided on first innings lead. Win the toss, bat first and score in excess of 550 has been a mantra, and Saurashtra - under the tutelege of Debu Mitra - have successfully implemented that plan.
With nine points from four games, Saurashtra are currently fourth in Group A while Bengal are at sixth place with seven points from five games. For Bengal to counter that, they really need to bat out of their skin after having lost two matches outright and conceding a first innings lead in the other.
Toss will be a crucial factor as the matches in Rajkot have traditionally been decided on first innings lead.
With a disastrous away record this season, all depends on how well skipper Manoj Tiwary performs as he is the only man in this line-up who is capable of scoring a big hundred. Ashok Dinda's presence in the playing XI will also boost the visiting team's confidence as they try to plot a strategy for Jadeja who is currently on top of run-scorer's list with two triple tons.
While Dinda will come in place of Veer Pratap Singh, one among rookies Sudeep Chatterjee and Sandipan Das will bat at No. 3 in place of Writam Porel who has been dropped.
Saurashtra batting mainly depends on Jadeja, dogged veteran Shitansu Kotak and Sagar Jogiyani, while Jadeja and offie Kamlesh Makvana are likely to bowl bulk of the overs.