Dinesh Karthik slams Tamil Nadu coach for throwing skipper Sai Kishore under the bus after Ranji semi-final loss to Mumbai

Tamil Nadu coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said that Sai Kishore's decision to bat first on a seaming wicket cost the team.

Sulakshan Kulkarni | XAfter Tamil Nadu’s crushing defeat at the hands of Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semi-final, coach Sulakshan Kulkarni didn’t filter his words as he said that skipper R Sai Kishore's decision to bat first on a seaming wicket cost the team.

Sai Kishore’s decision backfired in the very first session of the semi-final as Mumbai reduced Tamil Nadu to 42/5 at the MCA-BKC ground.

Tamil Nadu could never recover as they were bundled out for paltry totals of 146 and 162 in the two innings, resulting in Mumbai winning the match by an innings and 70 runs.

Addressing the media after the game, Kulkarni said: "I always speak straightforward — we lost the match at 9'o clock on Day One. Everything was set, we won the toss, as a coach, as a Mumbaikar, I know the conditions well. We should have bowled but the captain had some different instinct.”

"Ultimately he is the boss. I can give my feedback and inputs (as to) what kind of wickets and Mumbai's mindset also. (From) 106/7, I knew before the match that this (Mumbai's fightback) may happen," he added.

However, Kulkarni’s comment wasn’t well received by veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who took to social media to come down heavily on the Tamil Nadu coach.

“This is so disappointing from the coach ..instead of backing the captain who has brought the team to the semis after 7 years and thinking it’s a start for good things to happen, the coach has absolutely thrown his captain and team under the bus,” Karthik wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Former India batter Hemang Badani also slammed Sulakshan Kulkarni for throwing the Tamil Nadu captain under the bus.

“Oh boy the coach Sulakshan Kulkarni has thrown the captain Sai Kishore under the bus. Whatever happens in a team environment stays there and you don’t set the captain on fire and go public about this. Good coaches don’t do that. #MumvsTn #RanjiTrophy,” Badani tweeted.

Coming to the Ranji semi-final, Mumbai were struggling at 106/7 at one stage but all-rounder Shardul Thakur produced a counter-attacking century to bail his team out of trouble. Thakur’s 109 off 104 balls helped Mumbai take a significant lead of 232 runs over Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu coach heaped praise on Mumbai’s lower-order, hailing it as the best in India.

"They are the best (Nos) 9, 10 (and) in India. I told this in the dressing room that their batting starts after (No) 6. I can take the horse to the water, the horse has to drink,” Kulkarni said.

"We were mentally prepared that whoever wins the toss would bowl first. We knew that we would bowl first. The moment they (TV broadcast) said we would bat first, whatever you say, it goes in the batsmen's minds. That first half an hour (before play) got in the batsmen's minds,” he said.

"When you get into the first over, third ball, your international player gets out and you see the situation… in the first hour we lost the game and the plot. It was very difficult to come back even though they were 107 for seven (106/7)."

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 05 Mar, 2024

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