About the Match
There is absolutely no more room for errors as the TNPL starts to reach the end of its group stages. Karaikudi Kaalai is in a tough spot at 5th
on the table and a poor net run rate. They have to win both of their last two games to give themselves the best chance of qualifying for the finals. Their opponents, the Dindigul Dragons are in a better position at 3rd
place but they too need to win to cement their place for the knockouts.
This season has been a strange one for the Dragons so far. They have not played their best cricket in our opinion but seem to have done just enough to get past their opponents in two games. Their current record stands at 2 wins from 5 matches. They have lost two and have one no-result thanks to the rain.
Their third position on the table is somewhat boosted by that no-result and the teams underneath them will know that.
Dindigul has struggled to for runs and its top-order just does not seem to be hitting form. Most of the other teams rely on their top two or three batsmen for most of the runs but it is the middle and lower order that has been bailing Dindigul out so far in this tournament.
Ganga Sridhar Raju, Subramaniam Silva and N Jagadeesan need to start scoring runs more consistently otherwise Dindigul is going to fall behind very quickly. A positive for their team would be the form of skipper Venkataraman who scored 41 not out in his teams win in the last match.
The bowling for Dindigul has been impressive led by T Natarajan and M Sanjay. Both them have 6 wickets each to their name. M Ashwin is out injured and is expected to miss out this game as well.
A real thrashing at the hands of the Super Gillies would have dented the confidence of Karaikudi Kaalai. They head into this game knowing that they need to win both their remaining games because of their poor net run rate.
They were missing Srikkanth Anirudh in the last match and that played a huge part in their loss. We expect him to make a return to cricket in this match considering the fact that his groin strain was relatively minor and the importance of this game.
Anirudh and Vishal Vaidhya at the top of the order have been the pillars of the Karaikudi Kaalai batting especially since Badrinath seems to be in terrible form.
The likes of Shajajan and Ganapathy have impressed as well in patches but all their cogs need to start working together to really make a difference.
In Mohan Prasath, R Rajkumar and Sam Karaikudi Kaalai has a very decent bowling set up. Their bowling will have to be up to the mark in this match and try to dismiss the Dragons cheaply to compensate for their own batsmen’s dismal lack of form.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Tirunelveli is now showing a distinct lack of bounce in all its matches. Stroke making is difficult and teams need to re-evaluate how much they should target while batting first. We believe that 160 will be a winning total here.
Unfortunately, it looks like a rainy day in Dindigul with a very real chance of the match being washed out altogether. We will be lucky to get a restricted game in according to the current forecast.
Karaikudi Kaalai to wi