Laxmi Ratan Shukla, the recently appointed Bengal senior team’s head coach aims to end team’s 33-year Ranji Trophy drought. His appointment has come ahead of the upcoming season, putting an end to a month-long speculation. drought.
Former Indian opener and former Bengal head coach WV Raman has been appointed as a batting consultant and will lend his services for a 50-day period over the next year.
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Along with Shukla, his former colleagues Saurasish Lahiri, Shib Sankar Paul, Arindam Das and Sanjib Sanyal have also been designated with several coaching duties across various age groups.
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Shukla and Raman’s appointment have given nostalgia to both as they mark their return to Bengal’s senior team after nearly a decade. As a player, Shukla had a spectacular domestic career and always remained integral to Raman’s team as he took Bengal to some memorable victories.
Bengal as a team won their last two titles – the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2011 and the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2012 under Raman’s mentorship where Shukla played an important role. The latter was adjudged the Player of the Tournament for his all-round exploits (291 runs and 11 wickets) in Vijay Hazare Trophy.
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However, since then Bengal haven’t tasted any success as they have remained trophyless, crumbling under pressure in knockout games time and again.
Bengal are currently in a transitional face as they are trying various ways to level up their game. However, the resurgence was ignited by Indian opener Arun Lal, who took the charge of the team three years back. But currently, resigned from his position due to old age and fatigue.
In the last two editions of the Ranji Trophy, Abhimanyu Easwaran-led team showcased some good performances as they reached the final and the semi-finals. Over the time, they have also polished the pace attack with the likes of Ishan Porel, Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar.
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While they have refined their bowling, but batting still remains a matter of concern. The batters are often seen losing confidence in crunch situations. In the recently concluded Ranji Trophy tournament, the team lost to Madhya Pradesh in semi-finals by 174 runs.
The former Bengal captain believes that it’s not the time to show individual brilliance but to show team effort. In conversation with Sportskeeda, Shukla said, “Individual records won’t suffice anymore. You have to play for the team and be a match-winner. You have to help Bengal win the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.”
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