Spineless batting let Bengal down

Calcutta: If the bowlers bowl their hearts out to set up the game, the batsmen will squander the opportunity with utmost callousness.

This has been the tale of Bengal's sordid performance in this edition's Ranji Trophy. And as usual, it continues even in their last appearance against Railways here, at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground.

At the end of the second day, Railways are 20 without loss in their second innings, enjoying an overall lead of 74, after Bengal folded up for a paltry 157, in reply to the visitors' 214.

Railways bowlers just needed to pitch the ball in the right areas, as Bengal batsmen were there to commit harakiri. They either played atrocious shots or had no clue whatsoever on the line of the delivery.

Yet another insipid and spineless show with the bat raises high possibilities of Bengal ending their campaign on a sorry note. The greater worry is that players themselves aren't confident of getting their act right in the second innings.

"It's utterly disappointing if a team, consisting of seven to eight proper batsmen, cannot chase down a total of 214," lamented a Bengal selector, on Sunday.

"There are some players who are performing in the shorter format, but surprisingly, look out of sorts in the longer version. Now the coach suggests that they should play more matches at the club level as the season, too, should start much earlier than the present schedule.

"But it's not easy for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to effect changes in the schedule because of several factors," he added.

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