Kolkata: A confident Bengal team will be aiming to go all guns blazing to end their 33-year wait for a Ranji Trophy title when they come up against a strong Saurashtra side in the summit clash at the Eden Gardens starting on Thursday.
The final will once again be a repeat of the 2019-20 title decider, and Bengal will aim for revenge in front of the home fans after being beaten by Saurashtra back then.
“A couple of players are thinking of revenge, but for others, it’s about giving their best and performing. We have done our preparations very well in all the departments. Now it’s time to execute the plans and achieve our dream,” Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary said in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Bengal, who last won the Ranji title back in S1989-90 season under the leadership of Sambaran Banerjee, are in superb form in the knockouts beating Jharkhand by 9 wickets in the quarterfinals followed by a thumping 306-run victory over Madhya Pradesh in the semifinals last week.
The Laxmi Ratan Shukla-coached side will take a lot of positives going into the match both in their batting and bowling departments.
The rich form of top-order batters Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sudip Kumar Gharami will give the home side a lot of confidence.
The batting duo, who amassed over 750 runs each in the ongoing campaign, will once again aim to deliver on the big final.
But the opening combination is most likely to change again as Sumanta Gupta might come in place of Karan Lal to open the innings alongside Easwaran.
The middle order will once again rely heavily on the experienced duo of Anustup Majumdar and captain Manni.
While Anustup has been in sublime form, scoring 790 runs in the nine games so far, Manni, on the other hand, will aim to come handy with the bat and also be spot-on with his leadership skills.
All-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed will look to deliver both with bat and ball.
In the pace bowling department, the in-form Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep and Ishan Porel will surely pose a massive threat to the Saurashtra batters. The trio will look to extract pace, bounce and make the best use the green-top pitch and add more scalps to their tally.
While medium pace all-rounder Akash Ghatak will come in place of left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanick for the final.
On the other hand, Jaydev Unadkat will return to lead the Saurashtra side in a major boost for the team ahead of the final.
The visitors have a strong batting line-up with the in-form Sheldon Jackson, Arpit Vasavada and Chirag Jani in the team.
In the bowling department, left-arm seamers Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya will be the ones to watch out for.