Ranji Trophy 2017-18: Players to watch out in the big semifinals

Six North Indian teams will be participating in the Ranji Trophy next season.

Internet Desk: Ranji Trophy semifinals matches is set to start from December 17, where Karnataka will face Vidarbha in Kolkata in the first semifinal in Kolkata, on the other hand Bengal will face Delhi at Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium. The BCCI has already given permission to the Indian international cricketers to take part in these semis who are in South Africa touring squad but are not currently playing the limited overs series against Sri lanka. Ahead of the big semifinal matches we will look at the players who can change the game on their own in this knock out matches for their respective teams.

KARNATAKA           

R Vinay Kumar: The veteran pacer bowled brilliantly in the quarterfinals against Mumbai in the first innings. His hat-trick in the first innings at the very start of the game set the tone for his side to beat a heavy weight side like Mumbai by an innings and 20 runs. He has taken 22 wickets till now in seven games in this Ranji season and the team will be heavily relying on him in the big semifinals.

Mayank Agarwal: He is among those batsmen who have scored more than thousand runs in this ongoing tournament. In seven games he has scored 1,142 runs for his side. Agarwal has hit seven tons in this season and his highest score is 304*. In the quarter finals he played a handy knock of 78 runs against Mumbai.

Karun Nair: The star Indian international batsman has not been in among runs as he scored just 429 runs in six outings in the tournament. After Virender Sehwag, only Karun has the record of reaching to a triple century in Tests. He achieved this feat against England back in December 2016. He is that kind of a character who can change a game on his own and Viderbha knows that pretty well.

BENGAL

Manoj Tiwary: The Bengal skipper has scored 412 runs in seven matches, but he looked quite a bit inconsistent in this season. His highest score of 123 came against Himachal Pradesh back in November. Against a top opponent against Delhi it would be a great opportunity for him to play a big knock for his side.

Mohammed Shami: The West Bengal based outfit will get a huge boost in the semis as Shami got a green signal to play for his state side against Delhi after BCCI thought that the Indian internationals who are in South Africa touring squad need some practice ahead of the tour.  He took 18 wickets for Bengal in this season in just three matches and in last two Test matches against Sri Lanka the Indian pace spearhead took nine wickets too.

Wriddhiman Saha: According to India skipper Virat Kohli, he is the best wicketkeeper in modern day cricket. The board too has given him the permission to play for Bengal. He has played four matches for his state side and scored 230 runs in these outings. His top score was 97. It would be a great chance for Wriddhiman to prepare himself for the South Africa tour.

DELHI

Gautam Gambhir: The veteran Indian opener has scored more than five hundred runs for his state side in this Ranji Trophy season and his highest score is 144. In their quarterfinal game against Bengal Delhi will be relying on his vast experience with bat. In the quarterfinal match against Madhya Pradesh he played a match winning knock of 98 runs to help his side to reach the semis.

Rishabh Pant: In the absence of their star pacer Ishant Sharma India’s young sensation Rishabh Pant will lead the side. His fiery batting in this match would be the key for the success of Delhi. His dual with Mohammad Shami in the middle would be a treat to watch.

VIDERBHA

Umesh Jadhav: His inclusion in the squad would be a big boost for Viderbha against a top side like Karnataka. He has taken nine wickets for his state side in just two matches. It would be a great chance for Umesh too for preparing himself for the forthcoming Test series against South Africa.

Faiz Fazal:  A lot will be depending on Fazal if Viderbha wants to win the semifinals against Karnataka. In seven outings for his state side he has scored four centuries and a double century. In the quarterfinal match against Kerala he played a gem of a knock of 119 runs to help his side to qualify for the big semifinals.

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