Punjab itching to put its best foot forward

With the one-day season of the Ranji Super League on the list ahead,the Punjab team under the supervision of coach Arun Sharma is toiling hard to take do well in the shorter format.

Written by Siddhartha Sharma | Chandigarh | Published: February 7, 2009 3:08 am

With the one-day season of the Ranji Super League on the list ahead,the Punjab team under the supervision of coach Arun Sharma is toiling hard to take do well in the shorter format. With the tournament scheduled to start from February 15 in Dharamshala,the Punjab team is undergoing a tough training camp.

With a perfect blend of experienced and inexperienced campaigners,the current team indeed looks dynamic on the paper. “I think the team combination is perfect as we have experienced players with us and the new entrants have also been doing well for Punjab in the junior circuit.

One-day cricket is a different format altogether and the selectors have tried their best to come up with the best possible team,” shares coach Arun Sharma.

Talking about the concerned areas in which the team need to put in more energy,the coach opines,”Fielding needs to be improved as it is fielding which makes a team stand apart and we are employing various drills and techniques for the players to overcome their weakness.

Proper guidance and advice is also being laid to the bowlers to cut down on the extras.” shares Arun Sharma.

With the conditions in Himachal likely to assist bowlers,the coach is hoping that the team will deliver the goods.

“Our strategy will be to play five bowlers and six batsmen. The conditions being good there for bowlers initially,playing three medium pacers and couple of spinners will be a good decision to restrict any competitive side,” adds the coach.

Still fresh with recent success behind them,the skills of debutants like Vishwas Bhalla,Gaurav Gambhir and Jaskaran Singh will be tested during the tournament.

With no specialised left-arm spinner in the team,the team might be on a back foot but Ankur Kakkar can fill in the gap.

“We are really looking forward to go with Gaurav Gambhir as he is an excellent all-rounder and a specialist off-spinner,” acknowledges Sharma.

With Karan Goel not in the squad,Sunny Sohal,fresh after Duleep Trophy is expected to share the opening slot with Ravi Inder Raji while players like Dharmani,Uday Kaul,Mayank Sidana and Gurkirat Singh will add strength to the middle order.

” The team expects a lot from Sunny Sohal,Uday Kaul and Pankaj Dharmani who are in a good nick and are expected to deliver for the state,” claims Sharma.

The coach also believes that the pace-duo of Gony and Gagandeep will make up for the lack of VRV Singh. “We will be lacking the experience of VRV Singh as he is recovering from his injury but we still have experienced fast bowlers like M Gony and Gagandeeep Singh,” says Sharma.

Also with two regular wicket keepers-Pankaj Dharmani and Uday kaul- in the side,the coach feels that either of the two could don the gloves behind the stumps,keeping the situation in mind for the season.

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