Ranji Trophy: Services Coach Rajesh Tiwari Tries to Look at Positives Through Bad Light and Fog

(Image: AFP - For Representational Purposes)

(Image: AFP – For Representational Purposes)

After Services drew their third-round match against Jharkhand in New Delhi’s Palam, CricketNext got hold of coach Rajesh Tiwari to discuss centurions, poor fielding, and the North Indian fog.

The delayed start of play and early stumps being called due to fog and bad light have been a norm in the northern part of the country in this Ranji Trophy season. The fixture between Services and Jharkhand in Delhi was no different.

In a span of four days, a total of 267 overs were bowled with both sides batting just once. Services took three points as they had the first innings lead. The match ended in a draw after the captains shook hands early on last day as the match didn’t seem to be going towards a result.

While the weather and the conditions did create some problems and a failed to bring out a result, the encounter did see some personal milestones. Jharkhand skipper Virat Singh (108), and Kumar Kushagra (132), who has also been roped in the India ‘A’ side to play England Lions, struck individual tons for the side while pacer Varun Choudhary scalped a four-fer.

In reply, Services captain Rajat Paliwal (111) and Ravi Chauhan too notched up individual centuries with the latter top-scoring with 158. Services coach Rajesh Tiwari lavished praise on the two batters.

“Look, the tons are always crucial no matter where you are playing. They become more crucial when you are playing in the months of December and January because the conditions favour the bowlers a bit,” he said.

“The centuries that come in the first innings are very important because they decide the course of the game. Both Rajat and Ravi have scored two individual hundreds on the trot. So, it’s a good sign for us that our batters are scoring back-to-back tons. The consistency is very important,” he further added.

Weather, Scheduling & losing overs

Like many other matches, this game between Jharkhand and Services also witnessed the loss of time and overs due to weather conditions in Delhi.

When asked about the same, the coach suggested that the fixtures that are scheduled during this time in North India can be held in the initial phase or so.

“See, it’s also a big loss for cricket. One thing that can be done is that the matches that would face these kind of things (delay starts) can happen in the initial phase or something of that sorts. We can probably have result-oriented games,” Tiwary explained.

‘Fielding is a bit of an issue’

Services had pushed Jharkhand on the back foot with three early wickets in the first innings but Virat and Kushagra put up a good show with the bat and stitched an important fifth-wicket stand of 171 runs.

The coach admitted that despite picking up early wickets, Services didn’t really capitalise on it and added that fielding is one department that needs improvement.

“I agree that we could have capitalised more after picking up three early wickets. We dropped a few catches, we missed some run out chances as well. So, we surely need some improvement in the fielding department. We had planned that we will go match by match. Our bowlers and batters have done really well. As I said, it is just that we need to improve our fielding a bit,” he concluded.

Brief scores: Jharkhand 316/10 (Kumar Kushagra 132, Varun Choudhary 4/56) drew with Services 473/8 (Ravi Chauhan 158, Anukul Roy 3/90)

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