Sikkim News Update

Ranji Trophy: Before TN vs. Saurashtra quarterfinal, Baba Indrajith says, “It’s important that we turn up & play well.”

<p>Two-time champions Tamil Nadu are in the 2023–24 Ranji Trophy knockout stages for the first time since the 2016–17 campaign after topping the Elite Group C standings in the league round. As they take on the reigning champions Saurashtra in the quarterfinals on Friday at the Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts and Science Ground in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, who have won four of their last seven games, will be keen to keep up their good form.</p>
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<p>Baba Indrajith, who has been a key component of Tamil Nadu’s incredible success so far, thinks the hosts need to perform at their highest level in order to overcome a tough Saurashtra team.</p>
<p>“Yes, without a doubt. Saurashtra, the reigning champions, are a formidable squad that has produced some excellent cricket over the years. It promises to be an excellent challenge. These kinds of games are usually difficult, and I adore playing them.</p>
<p>Indrajith stated in an exclusive interview with IANS, arranged by WhiteLeaf Talent Management, “It’s important that we turn up well and play well throughout the game. Being a knockout game, it can go either way. The good thing is that we did beat them during the last season and that confidence will always be there.”</p>
<p>After the first two rounds, Tamil Nadu had only one point, and many people did not think they would make it to the knockout stages. They quietly made it into the knockout stages after winning four of their next five games, sending a clear message that they wanted to win the Ranji Trophy for the first time since the 1987–88 campaign.</p>
<p>“I’m overjoyed that we’ve made it to the Ranji Trophy after all these years. It’s a prominent and exclusive competition. We were a little disappointed that a team like Tamil Nadu took so long to qualify, but Indrajith expressed his happiness, saying, “I’m very, very happy that we have qualified into the knockouts after seven long years.”</p>
<p>This season, Tamil Nadu has played aggressive cricket and shown a persistent mentality. Indrajith thinks the team is now doing well in the present season because they are finally achieving their potential in red-ball cricket.</p>
<p>“Clearly, I believe… Everyone is talking about the Ranji Trophy nonstop. The fact that we all know we haven’t performed up to par in red-ball cricket served as our motivation. It’s fantastic to make it to the knockout stages after losing the season’s opening game.</p>
<p>Everybody, in my opinion, has stepped up in each game, and each one has had a different match-winner. Along with pushing each other, Sai Kishore has done a great job leading the team and maintaining a positive atmosphere.</p>
<p>“We are motivated because we know that not only the Tamil Nadu community and the cricket community as a whole are rooting for us, so we keep going and will give it our all.”</p>
<p>The Ranji Trophy season totals for Indrajith are impressive: 606 runs at an average of 75.75 from seven matches, including two hundreds and as many fifties. After scoring a brilliant 98 against Karnataka in Chennai and a commanding 187 against Punjab in Salem, he advances to the quarterfinals.</p>
<p>I’m appreciative of how great things are going for me. I wanted to keep things simple because, as a hitter, you know that you have had difficult moments. Therefore, if I get my eye in and score twenty or twenty-five runs, I make sure that, well, I want to make it big.</p>
<p>Regarding his successful run at bat, Indrajith remarks, “You haven’t been a part of certain teams, you haven’t gotten your break or you haven’t performed at certain moments, so whenever there’s an opportunity and you’re set, I made sure that I make it count.”</p>
<p>With 42 first-class games played since the beginning of 2017, Indrajith’s average of 63.60 is the highest of all hitters in the world who have participated in at least 40 games. Indrajith’s relentless determination to get a Test cap has motivated him to consistently score runs and seize every chance.</p>
<p>“I mean, you always remain motivated when you are so enthusiastic about sports and your objective of earning a Test cap. However, when that love for the game and the Test cap is there, you are constantly inspired and will always want to move to the next level and do something huge. As I said before, there will be setbacks, disappointments, and everything along that journey. That has thus been driving me, and I will continue to do so and accept whatever comes my way.</p>
<p>The boisterous cheering of the audience during Tamil Nadu’s dramatic draw against Karnataka at Chepauk will also be etched in memory, especially during Indrajith and Vijay Shankar’s incredible 125-run stand for the sixth wicket, which brought them dangerously near to chasing down 355 runs.</p>
<p>Indrajith concluded by pleading for supporters to attend the quarterfinal match in Coimbatore in huge numbers, hoping for a sizable turnout. “Yes, without a doubt. Playing in front of your home audience is an incredible sensation. You may have seen the films from Chepauk, when I played in the middle. It was a completely different experience, and these are the times when a cricket player becomes delighted.</p>
<p>“Obviously, we play at home in Coimbatore in the quarterfinal matchup against Saurashtra. The supporters have always supported us and encouraged us through good times and bad, and I would like them to continue doing so. I promise the fans that we will always give it our all—more than 100% every single day.</p>