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Last year's runner-ups Tamil Nadu takes on Himachal Pradesh in the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 (SMAT 2021).

Tamil Nadu was unbeaten in the group stage as they won all their five matches. On the other hand, Himachal Pradesh won four of their five matches. 

Team News 

Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been ruled out of the tournament due to a left hip injury. N.Jagadeesan has been named the vice-captain of the team. Jagadeesan has scored the highest number of runs in this tournament with 315 runs in five matches. Murugan Ashwin has made the breakthroughs at the right time taking 9 wickets in five matches. 

Rishi Dhawan has been the main bowler for Himachal scalping 9 wickets in five matches. 

Pitch and Conditions 

Dew will play a major role in deciding the outcome as the match will start at 7 pm. An equal contest can be expected between the bat and the ball. Clear weather is expected without any chance of rain. Batsmen need to play the waiting game as bowlers get a lot of assistance at the start of the innings. 

Probable Playing XI

Tamil Nadu (TN): C Hari Nishanth, N Jagadeesan, KB Arun Karthik, Dinesh Karthik, Baba Aparajith, Shahrukh Khan, M Mohammed, Murugan Ashwin, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, G Periyasamy/ Sonu Yadav, Sandeep Warrier

Himachal Pradesh (HP): Mani Sharma, Abhimanyu Rana, RI Thakur, Prashant Chopra (wk)/Ekant Sen, Rishi Dhawan (c), Digvijay Rangi, Nitin Sharma, Ayush Jamwal, Vaibhav Arora, Mayank Dagar, Pankaj Jaiswal 

Key Battles

N Jagadeesan (TN) vs Rishi Dhawan (HP)

N Jagadeesan Rishi Dhawan Syed
N Jagadeesan (TN) vs Rishi Dhawan (HP)

The top-scorer of the tournament, Jagadeesan is in the middle of a purple patch having scored four half-centuries in a row. The dashing opener has been a key factor in TN's winning run this season. He has shown tremendous maturity batting at the top of the order and has been adaptable to different game situations. 

Rishi who is also the captain of his side took 3 wickets for 22 runs in the last game against Maharashtra. He has had an excellent first-class record for Himachal. His subtle variations can unsettle the batsmen. 

Murugan Ashwin (TN) vs Abhimanyu Rana (HP)

Murugan Ashwin Abhimanyu Rana Syed
Murugan Ashwin (TN) vs Abhimanyu Rana (HP)

Rana scored a duck in the previous match against Maharashtra. He hit 77 runs in the three games played in Vadodara. He will look to give a strong start for his side. 

Ashwin gave away 18 runs and took a wicket in the last game against Bengal. The wrist-spinner can trouble the batsmen with his leg-breaks. He can extract a lot of turn in Motera after playing all his matches in Kolkata. 

Prediction 

Tamil Nadu looks more balanced in all departments and their deep batting line-up can chase down any total. If Himachal's bowlers get their act together, they can restrict TN to a low score. 

Cricwizz predicts Tamil Nadu to win the match