Ranji Trophy, Bengal vs MP: Koushik Ghosh cashes in on promotion

Cricket Cricket Tournament

Ghosh’s batting lacks the natural elegance of a left-hander. He is more of a grafter. Today, he put a price on his wicket.

Shared News | Published: November 13, 2018 5:58:44 am

Towards the end of the day, Ghosh returned to the pavilion to a standing ovation from his team mates. (Representational Image)

Koushik Ghosh was informed about his promotion in the batting order to No. 3 after the toss on Monday morning. Sudip Chatterjee is Bengal’s regular one-drop. But his recent lean patch prompted the team management to tweak, as Madhya Pradesh asked the hosts to bat first on a pitch that had a tinge of green.



Towards the end of the day, Ghosh returned to the pavilion to a standing ovation from his team mates. His gritty hundred put Bengal on a solid footing in the Ranji Trophy Elite, Group B fixture. The batting order rejig turned out to be a tactical masterstroke.

Ghosh made his first-class debut in 2014. Over the next four seasons, he played just four matches. Illness and inconsistency hampered his development. In his fifth Ranji outing, the 26-year-old left-hander scored his second first-class hundred.

Ghosh’s batting lacks the natural elegance of a left-hander. He is more of a grafter. Today, he put a price on his wicket.


 

Madhya Pradesh captain Naman Ojha, seeing the light grass cover on the pitch, chose to bowl first. But it played slow and gave the batters enough time to settle down. That the fast bowlers, save Avesh Khan, bowled a negative length and also, a little too wide outside the off stump, didn’t help.

From Ghosh’s perspective, a decent opening partnership between Abhishek Raman and Abhimanyu Easwaran meant he didn’t have to face the new ball. But he looked tentative against pace upfront. A short delivery from Khan hit him on the body. He played and missed a few times. But to Ghosh’s credit, he hung on. Once the spinners – Ankit Sharma and Mihir Hirwani – came, some freebies were on offer. Hirwani particularly was wayward to start with, bowling too many boundary balls. It helped both Ghosh and Easwaran break the shackles.



Ghosh was dropped at short-leg off Ankit on 33. But it was the only blemish, as he grew in confidence post lunch. The ‘nervous nineties’ gave him some jitters. He got stuck and thus invited pressure. To throw up some surprise, Ojha brought on part-time offie Shubham Sharma. But a misfield allowed the batsman to get to three figures. He departed soon, getting out caught behind off Shubham.

But this was an innings which should him allow an extended run at No. 3. “A sportsman’s life is all about displaying fighting spirit,” Ghosh said after the day’s play.

Easwaran missed his ton, getting dismissed on 86. He and Ghosh added 136 runs for the second wicket. Easwaran is part of the India A squad that would be travelling to New Zealand in a few days. His consistency in first-class has taken him to the next level. But rotating the strike is an area that needs improvement.


Amateurish fielding

Manoj Tiwary’s batting today was a lesson for both Easwaran and Ghosh about how to take quick singles and put pressure on the fielding side. Ghosh at times was not in sync with his captain’s running between the wickets. He was lucky that the Madhya Pradesh fielders threw at the wrong end. Bengal finished the day on 246/4, with Tiwary batting on 31.

The Madhya Pradesh fielding at times bordered on the amateurish. Four catches went down. They had a chance to wrest the initiative, but they bungled.

Brief scores (Day 1): Bengal 246/4 in 82 overs (Koushik Ghosh 100, Abhimanyu Easwaran 86, Shubham Sharma 1/3, Avesh Khan 1/49) vs Madhya Pradesh



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