Delhi aim for an outright victory against Assam
New Delhi: The Mithun Manhas led Delhi team will be aiming for an outright victory as they meet a spirited Assam side in the fifth round Ranji Trophy Elite Group A encounter at the Roshnara ground, from Wednesday.
Delhi are currently placed fourth in the group league table having got three points in a couple of matches against Gujarat and Tamil Nadu while they could manage a point against Bengal and Saurashtra. With Bengal also on eight points, Manoj Prabhakar`s boys will now aim for that elusive outright victory.
Tomorrow`s match would be a great chance for Delhi to redeem their position against a lowly Assam, who are sitting on sixth spot with seven points from as many matches.
After conceding the first innings lead against Bengal in the first tie, Delhi managed to do well to dominate against a formidable Tamil Nadu side as well as Gujarat, to earn three points each from both these matches, before rain played spoilsport in the last game against Saurashtra, handing both teams with only one point each.
Going into tomorrow`s match, Delhi would count on their key batsmen in Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Manhas, Gaurav Chhabra to come good in the absence of Virat Kohli, who scored back-to-back centuries against Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
Virat, who is in red hot form, has recently guided India to a 40-run win against New Zealand in the first one-dayer in Guwahati.
In Virat`s absence, Ankur Julka is likely to get a look-in in the first XI.
However a lot will depend on Delhi pacers Sumit Narwal, Pawan Suyal as to how they exploit the morning conditions at the Roshnara where the new-ball does a lot during the initial hours.
Delhi are playing at this ground as ICC has instructed the DDCA to work on growing grass on the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch so that it reaches international standard by the time World Cup starts.
Meanwhile, the Amol Muzumdar-led Assam, can also take heart from the fact that they have managed to topple both Bengal and Railways in their previous league matches to take the first innings lead. They also fought hard against Mumbai before Ajit Agarkar`s cameo denied them three points.
In fact, the batting of some of the youngsters in Sridharan Sriram, Tarjinder Singh and Dheeraj Jhadav have taken many by surprise, while in the bowling department also the likes of Dhiraj Goswami and Ranjitkumar Mali have given the team a lot to cheer about.
In one of the highest first-innings run-chases in the history of Ranji Trophy, they succesfully chased down Bengal`s mammoth first innings score of 562.
So even though Delhi would start as favourites on papers but, the visitors are expected to give them a run for their money.