Natham, Dindigul, July 20: Lyca Kovai Kings, the only team to have qualified for the playoffs in every season of the Sankar Cement Tamil Nadu Twenty20 League face a tricky opponent in VB Kanchi Veerans in their opening match of the fourth season at the NPR College, ground here on Sunday.
Despite their consistent run in the league, Kovai have struggled to put it across the Kanchi Veerans, who have mostly finished in the bottom half. In three meetings with Kovai so far, the Kanchi Veerans have won two and lost only once
VB Kanchi Veerans captain Baba Aparjith believes this season they have put together a squad that should do much better than last season when they finished seventh in the eight-team standings.
“I feel every department is covered. That’s the reason why we strengthened our bowling department in the player draft and we thought we needed variety in our bowling. I feel both batting and bowling we have really worked hard and for sure it’ll be better from last season,” said the all-rounder, who celebrated his 25th birthday earlier this month.
“Last season was not great for us overall. The plan is to get into the groove as soon as possible. It’s about gaining momentum and get to decent winning starts first,” he added.
For Lyca Kovai Kings captain Abhinav Mukund the obvious target is to challenge the top teams in the playoffs.
“This game is about small margins and unfortunately last time around we missed those small margins. We will definitely look to win the small moments better,” said the former India batsman, who is also banking on the fresh picks to see them through.
“We had a couple of good picks in the draft and we also had players who have gotten better in the last year, so I think we are definitely shaping up to be a good team. We had a good trade on Anirudh Sitaraman who came from Dindigul Dragons and I think he would definitely bolster the middle order,” he added.
Match 4: Lyca Kovai Kings v VB Kanchi Veerans
Venue: NPR College ground, Natham, Dindigul
When: July 21, 2019 (Sunday)
Match timings: 7:15 P.M. onwards
Live on: Star Sports 3, Star Sports (Tamil), Vijay Super
Players to watch out: T Natarajan, Mohammed Ashik (LKK);
Head to Head: Lyca Kovai Kings 1, VB Kanchi Veerans 2
2018 league record: LKK finished third; VBKK finished seventh
Lyca Kovai Kings: Abhinav Mukund (captain), Ajith Ram S, Ashwin Venkatraman, Akkil Srinaath, Antony Das W, Shahrukh Khan M, Natarajan T, Vignesh K, Raja M, Manigandan S, Rajesh MP, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, Muhammad Adnan Khan Suresh Kumar J, Suresh Babu M.
2019 signings: Anirudh Sita Ram B, Mohammed Ashik N, Malolan Rangarajan, RS Jaganath Sinivas.
VB Kanchi Veerans: Lokeshwar S, Vishal Vaidhya K, Aushik Srinivas R, Mukilesh U, Arun S, Deeban Lingesh K, Siddharth S, Francis Rokins P, Divakar R, Mokit Hariharan RS, Vishal U, Shriram C, Aparajith Baba (captain), Silambarasan R, Sanjay Yadav R.
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2019 signings: Satish R, NS Harish, R Suthesh, Gowtham Thamarai Kannan, P Sugendhiran.