Virat Kohli to play vs Mumbai in the final group league game

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 18:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Star batsman Virat Kohli will play Delhi`s final Ranji Trophy group league encounter against Mumbai, starting from Wednesday. It will be a do-or-die match for Delhi in their bid to qualify for the knock-out stage.

Virat, who hit back-to-back centuries for Delhi against Bengal and Tamil Nadu before leaving for national duty will certainly bolster the batting line-up that lacked firepower during their 22-run defeat against Railways.

While Virat comes in place of an out-of-form Aditya Jain, regular skipper Mithun Manhas who was out with a groin injury is back in place of Mohit Sharma. The other change in the side is speedster Parwinder Awana who will replace an injured Kapil Yadav.

Meanwhile Delhi coach Manoj Prabhakar termed stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan`s mistimed pull-shot as "unpardonable" and blamed the lack of application from the other batsmen being the reasons for Delhi`s shock defeat.

Shikhar was the first batsman to be dismissed yesterday when he went for a needless pull-shot only to be caught by Harshad Rawle at mid-on.

"That shot was unpadonable. I only hope that Shikhar learns from this mistake and doesn`t repeat it in the matches to come. I am disappointed that our batsmen didn`t show the application required for batting on this track," a furious Prabhakar told reporters today.

The disappointment was more evident when he said, "I can at the most guide them. When they are out there on the field, it`s their job to execute the plans. They can`t expect to be spoonfed. To play the moving ball, you need to have correct technique.”

"All these boys have now played first-class cricket for three to four seasons. They should be aware about their responsibilities."

Former India all-rounder JP Yadav feels that getting Shikhar Dhawan out early helped their cause.

"When Shikhar played that shot, we felt that we are in with a chance. The rest of the batsmen suddenly became confused as to whether they should attack or defend. And if you start defending, then you would take 70 overs to score those runs. And on this kind of a track, you won`t last that long," was JP`s assessment about Delhi`s performance.

PTI