Delhi aim to upstage Gujarat from top of the table

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010, 19:08 PM IST

New Delhi: Having snatched crucial three points in their last away game against Tamil Nadu, an upbeat Delhi side led by Mithun Manhas would like to better their last match’s performance against Parthiv Patel-led Gujarat in a thrid round Super League (Group A) match starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla, from on Wednesday.

While Gujarat are currently on top of the group A with eight points from two matches, Delhi are currently placed fourth with four points from two matches.

For Delhi, Virat Kohli has been in superb form having hit back-to-back centuries against Bengal and Tamil Nadu. No marks for guessing that Virat will again be the centre of attraction against Gujarat.

“We will be looking for an outright win. The first two matches have both been close contests. While we failed to clinch the first innings lead in the opening match against Bengal, we clinched three points in our away game against TN. We will look to take the positives out of those two games when we take the field on Wednesday,” skipper Manhas told reporters on the eve of the match.

Mithun however didn’t wanted to be drawn in to the controversy about the nature of Kotla strip that has been criticised of late.

“This is a typical Kotla wicket. We will try to utilize the best from whatever is available in the wicket. Our two spinners, Vikas Mishra and Manoj Chauhan, did a great job against Tamil Nadu. So we will look at the bowlers to do a good job on this wicket, although it won’t be possible to play two spinners on this wicket.”

Talking to Manhas, it appeared that Delhi colts skipper Unmukt Chand will partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order.

He said, “We are looking to give him a break at the right time. We have a bit of an issue regarding the opening slot and he has been scoring heavily, so we thought rather than wasting him, we should give him the platform to excel.”

The skipper confirmed that Parwinder has a back problem which has ruled him out of the contest.

“He has a back problem and is recovering. With just two matches into the season, we don’t want to take a chance. We have got pace back-up, so we want him to recover fully.”

Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel conceded that it will be difficult to notch up an outright win on this kind of a track and they will try and ensure three points first.

“We have started well this season. We hope to get better as we will play slightly better oppositions as we move ahead. If we play to our potential, we can atleast clinch a first innings lead even though an outright win looks a bit difficult on such a wicket.

“Day 1 and especially the opening session will be crucial. Whoever holds the edge at the end of the opening day will dominate the match.”

Although the wicket is slow in nature Parthiv said that they would play three seamers as that has been the strength of the team.

PTI