Ranji Trophy 2017/18: Five best batsmen in the group stages
The group stage games of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season have come to a dramatic end. Many teams laboured till the final day to obtain a knockout berth. The tournament’s dark horses like Vidarbha, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh have been sensational so far. They steamrolled into the knockout stages courtesy some emphatic round-robin performances. Meanwhile, tournament favourites Mumbai, Gujarat and Punjab fought hard till the very end to earn their tickets to the quarter-finals.
There were a lot of high scoring games; the batsmen made use of the batting-friendly conditions. Three triple-hundreds and nine double-hundreds were scored and to rank this list, we considered players' consistency, runs scored, average, match-winning performances and a lot more to pick five of the best.
There are players like Manish Pandey (Karnataka), Siddhesh Lad (Mumbai), Sanju Samson (Kerala), Ravikumar Samarth (Karnataka), Priyank Panchal (Gujarat) who played exceedingly well but missed out on a spot in the top five.
On that note, let us take a look at the five best batters of the 2017-18 Ranji season in the round-robin phase of the tournament.
#5 Sanjay Ramasamy (Vidarbha)
Sanjay Ramasamy is an unknown quantity amongst Vidarbha circles but is making ripples in this season's Ranji Trophy. The 22-year-old right-handed batsman has scored 665 runs at an impressive average of 95.00 from his eight innings. He has scored three centuries and two fifties from his six first-class matches.
The Varanasi-born starlet started the tournament on a high as he scored a match-winning 161 against Punjab at Mohali. After mediocre performances against Chhattisgarh and Services, he bounced back with another match-winning century. He scored his third hundred against Himachal Pradesh in the last game of the league phase. His consistent performances at the top helped Vidarbha notch outright wins in most of the games, thus earning them a knockout berth.
Sanjay is a much-improved cricketer under the guidance of his coach, Chandrakanth Pandit. Should he continue his golden run in the knockouts too, he will soon attract the attention of the Indian selectors.