Bhubaneswar: Odisha will be keen to turn their fortunes when they take on a strong Uttar Pradesh team in their second Elite Group C match of the Ranji Trophy at the KIIT Stadium here, starting Monday.
The hosts have failed to beat the visitors in their last five face-offs as UP, who will have a star flavor in Suresh Raina, have two wins while three matches were drawn. Odisha have a tough task in their hand as their poor batting display on their home ground in their previous match, also at the KIIT Stadium, almost handed them a defeat before a match-saving heroics from skipper Biplab Samantray ensured them of going into the second match with at least one point.
The major concern for the hosts is the form of opener Sandeep Pattnaik, who scored 20 and 6 in the previous match. Former skipper Govind Poddar had also struggled to get going against Haryana.
The main positives for Odisha would be the forms of opener Anurag Sarangi and skipper Biplab, who both scored centuries in the previous match. Youngsters like Subhranshu Senapati and Shantanu Mishra, who couldn’t convert their starts, would be key cogs for their middle order.
The pace attack, comprising experienced Suryakanta Pradhan and youngsters like Rajesh Mohanty and Debabrata Pradhan, did a descent job against Haryana. However, with the inclusion of seasoned Basant Mohanty, one of the youngsters could make way for him.
On the other hand, UP’s confidence will be sky high as they are coming into the match after a lopsided victory over Goa. The forms of UP’s middle order comprising captain Akshdeep Nath, Mohammad Saif and Priyam Garg, who scored centuries against Goa, would be a major concern for the hosts.
Their bowlers were excellent in the last match, especially Ankit Rajpoot and young Shivam Mavi as well as left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar. Raina, who wasn’t a part of the playing XI against Goa, will be certainity in the playing XI.