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Tamil Nadu Coach Reflects on Early Defeat in Ranji Semifinal

Tamil Nadu Coach Reflects on Early Defeat in Ranji Semifinal

Tamil Nadu’s head coach, Sulakshan Kulkarni, attributed his team’s innings-defeat to Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semifinal to a mistake at the toss. Kulkarni revealed that the team was mentally prepared to field first if they won the toss, but captain R. Sai Kishore had a different instinct and opted to bat first. This decision backfired as Tamil Nadu quickly found themselves in trouble at 42 for 5 in the first session, under challenging bowling conditions.

Despite Sai Kishore’s five-wicket haul in the first innings, Mumbai’s lower-order resilience, led by Shardul Thakur’s century and Tanush Kotian’s strong contribution, helped the hosts establish a substantial lead that proved too much for Tamil Nadu to overcome. Kulkarni bluntly stated, “We lost the match at 9 o’clock on day one,” emphasizing the impact of the early decisions and conditions on the outcome of the match.

Expressing his disappointment with the team’s performance, Kulkarni highlighted that the team was mentally prepared to bowl first, given the seaming-friendly conditions. However, once they were forced to bat, the pressure mounted, and losing wickets early in the innings set the tone for their defeat. Kulkarni acknowledged Mumbai’s strength in the lower order, noting that their batting prowess begins after the sixth position, which proved decisive in the match.

Kulkarni’s comments, which criticized the team’s performance and decision-making, received backlash from veteran Tamil Nadu cricketer Dinesh Karthik. Karthik expressed his disappointment with the coach’s remarks, stating that instead of backing the captain and the team, Kulkarni’s comments threw them under the bus.

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