Stepping In: Tiwary has taken up the responsibility of leading the Bengal team in the absence of regular skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran. file. , Photo credit: Biswaranjan Raut
Manoj Tiwary will have the unique distinction of donning two caps for Bengal as the state’s sports minister will captain the team against Uttar Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy opener at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.
Tiwari, who earlier led the zonal team when he was a minister, last led the state team in 2018-19. He has taken charge of the first two matches as regular captain Abhimanyu Easwaran has joined the Indian squad for the Test series against Bangladesh.
With his rich experience, the 37-year-old Tiwary will inspire the home team in a battle of two semi-finalists from last season.
The biggest challenge for Bengal, which reached the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and missed out on a knockout berth in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, is to fill the void created by Abhimanyu’s absence. The unavailability of fast bowler Mukesh Kumar, who is out due to injury, is another issue.
Bengal will rely on Tiwary, Anustup Majumdar, Sudeep Gharami and all-rounders Shahbaz Ahmed and Sayan Shekhar Mondal with the bat.
help fast bowlers
On a pitch that might offer some help to the pacers, Ishan Porel and Akash Deep will lead the Bengal pace attack.
“It is always an honor to lead Bengal. Preparations are in full swing. Now it is about executing the plans,” Tiwari said.
Uttar Pradesh will also be hoping for a good start as they have a good batting line-up which includes skipper Karan Sharma, Akshdeep Nath, Priyam Garg and Rinku Singh.
The fast bowlers will be led by Ankit Rajput and Shivam Mavi. Shivam Sharma and Shiva Singh provide options in the spin department while Saurabh Kumar is in Bangladesh to serve India.
“Our batsmen are confident after scoring a few runs in the Vijay Hazare knockout. We have a good attack and it could be a competitive match.