Ranji Trophy 2017-18: Delhi vs Vidarbha who has an edge in the battle of supremacy

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Internet Desk: A confident Vidarbha will look to win their maiden title when they will face a big side like Delhi in the Ranji Trophy semi-final which is set to start from tomorrow.

After reaching the final of the grand tournament for the very first time, Viderbha has only tried to get familiarized with the pressure, on the other hand Delhi would be eyeing to end the season with winning the trophy.

Some turnaround it has been after the off-field controversies that dogged the team last season, with much publicised altercation between then skipper Gautam Gambhir and coach KP Bhaskar.

A team that has produced some of the finest players in recent years and looks set to supply a player or two more to the Indian cricket team in near future, Delhi certainly look like the fancied of the two finalists.

However, given Vidarbha’s spirited run to their maiden title clash, Delhi are well aware of the threat the first- timers could pose over the next few days.

Not one to take anything for granted, Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant said on the eve of the match,”We are just focused on the job at hand. We know we will have to play really well to win the match.”

Medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani has become the toast of the domestic scene since he ran through season favourites Karnataka’s a star-studded batting line-up in the semifinal in Kolkata.

In Delhi, Gurbani and his team-mates have another difficult challenge facing them. With the seasoned Gambhir at the top of the order, Delhi know they have a player who can be relied on in times of crisis.

If the out-of-favour India opener is able to add to the three centuries and two fifties in the final, Delhi would be too happy to lap it all.

From scoring a crucial 95 in the fourth-innings quarterfinal chase against Madhya Pradesh to the century versus Bengal in the last-four stage, Gambhir has had a decisive role in the team’s progress to the final, and a substantial outing here would be befitting.

The seven-time winners have a young captain in Pant and though he has had a quiet season, the wicketkeeper would certainly look to impress the national selectors present there, with handsome contributions.

Navdeep Saini, the 25-year-old pacer, has been a consistent wicket-taker for Delhi this season. His seven- wicket match haul against Bengal in the semifinal contributed to his teams innings win.

The bowler from Karnal, whose rise has been documented over the past few days, meant business in the group stages too, picking up wickets against Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Saini’s pace bowling colleague, Kulwant Khejroliya too took four wickets against Bengal, as the duo bundled out their opponents for a paltry 86 in the second innings.

As far as Vidarbha are concerned, their charge has been led by the experienced Faiz Fazal (843 runs at an average of 76.63) and his opening partner, Sanjay Ramaswamy (735 runs at an average 66.81).

Squads

Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (captain), Sanjay Ramaswamy, Wasim Jaffer, Ganesh Sathish, Apoorv Wankhede, Vinod Wadkar (wk), Aditya Sarwate, Akshay Wakhare, SiddeshNeral, Rajneesh Gurbani, Karn Sharma, Shalabh Srivastava, Siddhesh Wath (wk), Akshay Karnewar, Suniket Bingewar, Ravikumar Thakur, Aditya Thakare

Delhi: Rishabh Pant (captain and wk), Gautam Gambhir, Kunal Chandela, Dhruv Shorey, Nitish Rana, Himmat Singh, Manan Sharma, Vikas Mishra, Vikas Tokas, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Akash Sudan, Shivam Sharma, Unmukt Chand, Milind Kumar.

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