Confident Delhi look to complete 'hat-trick' of outright wins
With two convincing outright victories under their belt, a supremely confident Delhi led by their mercurial skipper Gautam Gambhir will take on the gutsy Gujarat in their bid to complete a hat-trick of outright victories in the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament, here on Sunday.
New Delhi: With two convincing outright victories under their belt, a supremely confident Delhi led by their mercurial skipper Gautam Gambhir will take on the gutsy Gujarat in their bid to complete a hat-trick of outright victories in the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament, here on Sunday.
After four indifferent seasons in Ranji Trophy, the seven-time champions have started the current season in earnest with two authoritative performances against Saurashtra and Rajasthan.
While they missed out on a bonus point by a whisker in Saurashtra game, there were no such mistakes against Rajasthan as a clinical performance ensured an innings win for them.
Currently they are second in the group table with 13 points -- two behind Punjab, who have played a match more.
However, they will face their toughest opponents in Gujarat, who are placed third in the table with 12 points by virtue of an outright win and two first innings lead.
With Virender Sehwag helping himself to a half-century and Unmukt Chand finding some form with an attractive century, the top three including Gambhir, who scored a ton in the first game, are all in good touch.
Add to it, veteran Mithun Manhas, coming back from injury and getting a 50 plus score in no time, the Delhi batting bears a formidable look compared to Gujarat who will be heavily depending on the two Patels -- skipper Parthiv and reserve keeper-batsman Smit.
The two batsmen, who have scored maximum for Gujarat this season, are opener Priyank Panchal and No. 3 Bhargav Merai, both of whom scored over 300 runs so far.
Their bowling attack is led by left-arm seamer and member of the U-19 World Cup winning squad Rush Kalaria.
Courtesy his 12-wicket haul in Gujarat's eight-wicket win against Odisha, Rush is topping the Ranji Trophy's top wicket-taker's charts with 19 scalps to his name.
Gujarat's outstation recruits, Y Venugopal Rao and Ramesh Powar will not be playing this match due to injuries.
However, Delhi's attack looks more potent with the ever effective Parvinder Awana at the fore. Awana knows the low and slow Kotla track like back of his hand and the art of taking wickets, while 'outsider' Navdeep Saini is slowly making Delhi his own after a match-haul of seven wickets against Rajasthan.
Sumit Narwal's all-round abilities is also complemented by spin duo of left-arm spinner Varun Sood and off-spinner Shivam Sharma.