Rajasthan looking for a big victory against Orissa
Jaipur: Defending champions Rajasthan would be looking to register a big victory when they take on Orissa in their last Ranji Trophy Elite Division Group A match at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium on Wednesday.
The clash between the lowly-placed teams in Group A has gained a new dimension after Rajasthan scored a huge victory over Saurashtra last week.
Rajasthan, who are languishing at second last place in the Group A table with only 10 points from six matches, if able to record an outright victory with a bonus point over Orissa may enter into the knock-out stage. However, it will still depend on the results of the other matches in the group.
"We have no other choice but go all out and earn a big victory with a bonus point. That might help us. But despite that we will have to wait and watch the results of the remaining matches," admitted Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar.
Rajasthan, who raised their level of performance in the last match against Saurashtra, would need to come up with the same kind of show. But they can take heart from the fact that Orissa are a weak opponent and are lying at the bottom of the table with two points from six matches.
Rajasthan, meanwhile, have been pegged back a little, as Deepak Chahar and former India under-19 captain Ashok Menaria are out of the squad due to jaundice and groin injury, respectively.
But skipper Kanitkar would not be too bothered by their absence as Chahar has not been in his prime form while Menaria did not play in the last match against Saurashtra.
Chahar`s replacement Rituraj Singh bowled well in tandem with Pankaj Singh and Sumit Mathur, who were impressive on a grassy wicket.
The batting line-up of hosts is also in pretty impressive form with the likes of Kanitkar, Vineet Saxena, Robin Bisht, Akash Chopra, Puneet Yadav and Rashmi Ranjan Parida – all amongst runs.
The visitors, on the other hand, have been far from impressive so far in the tournament.
"We have to play positive. We have nothing to lose now so we want to salvage some pride," said Debashish Mohanty, the former Indian medium-pacer and coach of the Orissa team.
Rajasthan captain Kanitkar, meanwhile, sounded confident. "We have to play positively. We have to press for a big victory. The wicket helped us in the previous match and everything went according to our plans. We want to give our best and pray to the almighty," he said.
The wicket in this match is similar to the one used against Saurashtra.
"It is having a bit of grass and would provide good speed and bounce," said the curator, former Ranji player Taposh Chattejee.