Chennai: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly`s decision to assist Bengal midway in the season in Ranji Trophy against Tamil Nadu in their fifth of seven league matches in Elite-A group has given jitters to Tamil Nadu bowlers, who have not performed to their potential so far.
The four-day fifth round of league match between Bengal and Tamil Nadu starts at IIT Chemplast grounds here tomorrow.
Bengal are now in fifth position on the table with eight points from four matches. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu are in joint second spot with 10 points, along with Gujarat, behind the leaders Mumbai with 14 points.
Bengal coach and former India player Woorkeri Raman has found it tough to field totally fit 11 players in earlier matches this season and Ganguly`s return should help the side perform in order to push themselves up the points table.
"We managed with a squad of 12 players, but I must say the boys have measured up well under the circumstances. In this context, Ganguly`s presence will definitely make an impact and hopefully, we will be able to do well," Raman said.
"Against Assam, we didn`t have (Ashok) Dinda who was not fit. His replacement Shami Ahmed contacted viral fever and was off the field for two hours. We had our chances, but didn`t take them. Our game against Tamil Nadu is crucial for us," Raman, who was Tamil Nadu`s coach for four years before shifting back to Bengal this season, added.
Bengal, who are eyeing an outright win to make sure of progressing further in the tournament, might face lot of hurdles in realising it as Tamil Nadu`s top and middle order batsmen have been in good nick.
Opener Abhinav Mukund (double century plus), K B Arun Karthik (century plus) and Badrinath have cracked centuries against Delhi and Saurashtra and also have decent scores in the other two matches.
Despite having Ganguly, capable of performing well with both bat and ball, Bengal will miss the services of wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who is with the Indian team for the ODI series against New Zealand.
"Saha`s replacement Sreevats Goswami for our match against Tamil Nadu has also gone home due to viral fever. So it has been a bit of struggle for us this season. But there is not much you can about it," Raman said.
Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, would also be going into the match without two of their key players -- off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and opener Murali Vijay, both of whom are away on National duty against the Kiwis.
However, the main worry of the hosts would be their bowling that has not clicked so far and any hope of beating Bengal depends on Lakshmipathi Balaji upsetting Bengal with some early strikes and young left-arm spinner, Aushik Srinivas finding his rhythm.