With nothing but pride at stake, Tamil Nadu will look to finish the Ranji Trophy season positively in its last two matches against Assam and Saurashtra over the next two weeks.
The team will have a new captain in R. Sai Kishore when it takes the field at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday against Assam.
With just eight points from five matches, Tamil Nadu will take comfort from playing in familiar conditions at home as it seeks its first win of the season.
Despite the change in captaincy, there have been no changes in the squad for the last two matches.
But there could be a change in the playing eleven, with M. Shahrukh Khan and pacer H. Trilok Nag – both of whom missed the last game against Maharashtra – likely to return.
The pitch is expected to be a typical dry Chepauk wicket with good assistance for spinners, and Tamil Nadu is likely to stick with two left-arm spinners in Sai and S. Ajith Ram.
Speaking ahead of his debut as a skipper, Sai Kishore said, “I did not expect this. We have good rapport within the group, and there are no egos between the players. It is exciting to lead a domestic side, and I will look to take the team forward.”
Meanwhile, Assam comes into the game on the back of an innings defeat to Mumbai. With just 11 points, though the team is still in the competition mathematically, its chances are slim.
Assam got the first-innings lead against Delhi and beat Hyderabad but has since scored only one point from the last two matches.
Rishav Das and skipper Gokul Sharma lead the team’s batting unit, while all-rounder Riyan Parag has excelled with both bat and ball. The 21-year-old Parag is the third-highest run scorer for his side and also tops the wicket charts with 19 scalps.
It has been a promising season for Assam in domestic cricket, reaching the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and the team will like to find the form it showed at the start of the tournament.