Ranji Trophy Semifinal | Tamil Nadu pays the price for batting first on a pitch with a tinge of green

Deshpande… on fire.

It is very difficult to win a First-Class match in one session, but often just one poor session, especially on the first morning can put a team on the back foot from which it is difficult to stage a comeback.

On Saturday morning, Tamil Nadu had such a poor session where it lost half its side in 90 minutes, leaving the team in deep trouble.

Having won the toss, TN skipper R. Sai Kishore’s decision to bat first on a green top backfired as the Mumbai pacers made full use of the conditions to bowl out the visitors for 146. The decision surprised quite a few observers, with Indian pacer Jaydev Unadkat rhetorically posting on his social media, “Bat first on that pitch? How? Why?”

When former cricketer Vijay Dhaiya, who conducted the toss, suggested it was a brave call to Sai Kishore, the skipper said, “I looked at the wicket and didn’t know much. I didn’t decide what I am going to do. Felt like I should bat on this wicket,” said the 27-year-old.

It even surprised the Mumbai camp and Tushar Deshpande had a glint in his eye when asked what he thought of it.

“Absolutely!” said Deshpande. “We all can see that the pitch has enough help for the pace bowlers and with the shadow staying till late at the BKC, it helps pace bowlers a lot in the first session.

“So, a bit surprised, but we bowled in the right areas,” he added.

TN even bolstered its bowling attack by including pacer Kuldeep Sen for batter M. Boopathi Vaishna Kumar and had a golden chance to put the Mumbai batters under pressure after winning a crucial toss.

But, instead, Ajinkya Rahane’s men now have the best conditions with the bat to tighten their grip on the game.

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