Ranji Trophy: Cautious Delhi aim to pass Odisha test 2nd round encounter

New Delhi: Having lost the opening round encounter against Uttar Pradesh with a star-studded team, a new look Delhi side led by Shikhar Dhawan will like to make amends against minnows Odisha in the second round Ranji Trophy match at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

The famed quartet of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma will be on national duty and veteran pacer Ashish Nehra has been rested from this game. Another senior pro Rajat Bhatia is yet to get fully fit which means that a lot will depend on the in-form Dhawan to turn things around.

With Unmukt Chand for company, Dhawan would like to challenge the Odisha bowling attack led by military medium pacer Basant Mohanty along with inexperienced Alok Mangaraj and Deepak Behera.

"No team in the Elite group is an easy opponent. If Odisha are in Elite, even if they don`t know how to win, they certainly know how to survive and if possible try to win," a cutious Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya told the reporters on the eve of the match.

While pacer Parvinder Awana and one down batsman Milind Kumar are certainties in the side, there is a chance that left-arm spinner Manan Sharma might be included in place of Vikas Mishra who did precious little in the last game.

Not only his bowling but Mishra`s attitude towards game is something that didn`t amuse his coach one bit.

"Very rarely do you get a chance to play alongside stalwarts and these guys (Sehwag, Gambhir) don`t behave like stars in the dressing room. I saw Unmukt spending around one and half hours along with Gautam talking on his batting. I didn`t see Vikas going upto Sehwag even once and asking about the areas he needs to improve upon."

For Odisha coach Debashis Mohanty, the lesson learnt from UP`s win against Delhi is that anything is possible.

"We have a young team and everyone is fit. Unfortunately, the game against Tamil Nadu in Cuttack got washed out. Hopefully, we will have a good game here. If UP have beaten them, that means they did their homework well. Similarly we need to do well in all departments," he stated.