Rovers keen to set record straight

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Success has followed Jolly Rovers (Chemplast Sanmar) like a shadow and it was a surprise when they went down by a massive margin to Vijay CC in the semi final of the Palyampatti Shield last season.

Failures are a part of the game and as any combative unit the former champions are up and ready for another season of tough cricket.

Cricket manager Bharath Reddy who has been the bulwark behind Rovers’ success was confident of a good show.

Rovers are scheduled to play five matches outside their home turf (IIT-Chemplast) and Bharath did not see any disadvantage in that. “None of the top teams should complain about playing away from home.

We have the players to address all conditions. At the end of the day it’s a fight only for the top four and I am confident we will be able to get there,” said Bharath.

Rovers possess good balance, the return of M. Vijay and inclusion of Anand Subramaniam has added the much required solidity to the top-order.

“We have a fairly penetrative bowling unit. The team needed more muscle in the top order; Vijay and Anand provide just that. R. Nilesh Subramaniam was the big gain last season. R. Sathish and N. Einstein will not be available for the first half of the season and are likely to return towards the knockout stage,” added Bharath.

Anand’s transfer is seen as high profile in spite of the 26-year-old not having made his first class debut. Anand finished third in the run charts with 847 runs at an impressive average of 56.47 and is largely regarded as a perfectionist at the crease.

“I spent a lot of time with minor clubs before moving to Globe Trotters (MRF) and I cannot thank the team management enough at MRF enough for shaping my career. At the same time I felt it was time to move on. The facilities at IIT are excellent and I hope to make the most of this fantastic environment and team culture,” said Anand.

J. Kaushik was a revelation for the Ranji side and he will have a new partner in the form of Sandeep Singh to share the new ball in the later stages of the league. Sandeep who is currently in the India under-19 team for the World Cup turns out for Punjab and joined Chemplast in December and will make his first division debut after the regulation wait of one year.

Prasanth K Verma has been tidy with his left-arm spin. The youngster gained by delivering more consistently from closer to the stumps and if he continues to improve in the same vein he should grow to be a major asset. C. Hemanth Kumar will lead the side and Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla will be available from the second match.

Rovers start their campaign Grand Slam at the home ground. “The preparations have gone well. Whatever little time we had between the two seasons have been put to good use,” concluded Bharath.

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