Battle between equals

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Toss and weather could prove decisive in the final of the Palyampatti Shield final to be played between Vijay CC (India Cements) and Globe Trotters (MRF) at the MAC Stadium. The season will culminate with the three-day final commencing on Thursday and it will be a severe test of fitness for all players.

Both teams appear evenly matched on paper and had posted similar wins in the semi-finals. Trotters are the defending champions but there is no pressure according to skipper S. Sriram.

“We will go out and try to do the same things that got us here. Vijay CC is a formidable side and to beat them we have to be at our best throughout the game,” said Sriram who added that Trotters will go in unchanged.

The team batting first have won the last six finals. Toss has proved a huge advantage but both captains were not ready to dwell too much into it. “It also has to do with the fact that the team batting first posted a healthy score on the board. One cannot sit back and relax after the toss,” said Sriram.

The sole concern for Trotters will be the composition of their attack. The harsh sun could be tough on the three seamers although Sunil Sam has shown a huge heart through the season and led the attack admirably well.

For Indian off-spinner R. Ashwin, the final provides a good opportunity to prove his credentials as captain. “We are prepared to chase as well. Our batting unit is committed to chase however massive the target is. Rahul Dravid has added solidity to the top-order. B. Aprajith is also back for the final. I am confident of the team doing well irrespective of what happens with the toss,” said Ashwin.

The strong top-order led by K. Dinesh Karthik and S. Badrinath is Vijay’s strength. The well-balanced attack led by Ashwin and supported by Rahil Shah and Aswin Crist make the former champions a tough team to beat. The only point of debate in team selection would be the toss up between wicket-keeper Varun Kumar and B. Indrajith.

In case of the first innings going unfinished the team batting second (provided they had the same number of overs to bat) should be better both on run rate and run quotient to emerge winners. In case of them failing to better both the team batting first will be declared winners.

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