Bhubaneswar: The BCCI Ranji Trophy 2017-18 is all set to begin from tomorrow. Team Odisha will be meeting zonal opponents Tripura in their first Group-C encounter at Vikash Ground, Bhubaneswar. After qualifying for the quarter-finals in the previous season, Govinda Poddar led Odisha is sweating hard in the nets under the new chief coach, Shiv Sundar Das.
Captain Govinda Poddar who performed well in the last season is hopeful of doing better this year.
“For the last one month we have been preparing very well and the intensity within the team is quite high. We are looking forward to deliver on a fresh wicket here,” said Poddar.
Shantanu Mishra is the only new face while senior batsman and former captain Natraj Behera has been brought back into the Odisha squad. North-Eastern side Tripura led by MS Mura Singh are also charged up for the first game and are busy with their net practice.
Chief coach Shiv Sundar Das expressed his satisfaction over the venue and pitch. He has a lot of expectations that the team will do well in the first game.
Speaking to odishatv.in Das said, “This is a newly laid pitch and looks good for a four-day game. We have a good mixture of youth and experience. Inclusion of experienced Natraj Behera is certainly a good sign for the team. I am looking forward to this new challenge.”
Vikash Ground is hosting a Ranji Trophy game for the very first time and they have made proper arrangements. Fresh pitch is prepared and the wicket looks completely fine for a four-day game.
Odisha will be looking forward to start the new season with a bang against Tripura at a new venue and under a new coach.
Odisha Squad: Govinda Poddar (captain), Sandeep Patnaik, Natraj Behera, Santanu Mishra, Abinash Saha, Ranjit Singh, Subhranshu Senapati, Biplab Samantray, Saurabh Rawat (wicket-keeper), Dhiraj Singh, Basanta Mohanty, Suryakanta Pradhan, Alok Sahoo, Alok Mangaraj and Deepak Behera.