Delhi face tough challenge against defensive Vidarbha
Nagpur: A formidable Delhi will face a defensive Vidarbha in what promises to be an exciting final group league encounter of the Ranji Trophy here starting Saturday.
The match will be played at the Old VDCA Stadium, where the 22-yard strip has been turned into a featherbed on which an outright result looks highly unlikely.
There is not much to choose between the two teams -- Delhi are placed fourth with 17 points, while Vidarbha, with 19 points, are third on the table.
While Delhi would need a full six points to steer clear of mathematical equations, three might be good enough for the hosts.
Delhi`s chief coach, Vijay Dahiya, was not at all amused after having a look at the pitch.
"Vidarbha will play with the same negative mindset that Baroda showed during our match at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The pitch that they have prepared is a batting track.
"Probably, they have prepared a pitch which would ensure them three points. The mindset of the coaches this season is something that I have failed to comprehend. We might have lost a few games but we have played positive cricket," Dahiya didn`t seem to be too happy as he spoke to PTI over phone from Nagpur.
Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra is likely to come in place of either Pradeep Sangwan or Pawan Suyal in the playing XI.
"This is a track where you need a specialist spinner. There is no point in playing four pacers. The combination will depend on whether we can avail the services of Parvinder Awana. Mr Chetan Chauhan is trying his best so that we can get Awana," Dahiya informed.
A lot will again depend on Delhi skipper Shikhar Dhawan whose timely century against Maharashtra has kept their chances of a knock-out berth alive.
Dahiya also wants erratic India U-19 skipper Unmukt Chand to come good.
"There is a lot of difference between U-19 and first-class level. For Unmukt, it is a phase where he would learn a lot and obviously try his best to come good in future matches."
The Vidarbha team has been well served by left-handed opener Faiz Fazal, who had been discarded by Railways this season. Fazal has been their top scorer with 459 runs while Hemang Badani, with 291 runs, can be threatening with all his experience at this level.
Is there a possibility of an outright result, Dahiya answered, "Very difficult on this kind of track but we will try our level best."