Yuvraj aims to make a mark in Irani trophy

Jaipur: Ousted from the national team, swashbuckling batsman Yuvraj Singh would launch his desperate comeback bid when he leads defending champions Rest of India against Ranji winners Mumbai in the Irani Trophy cricket match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Friday.

The match would be a perfect stage for talented youngsters, fringe players and Yuvraj who is desperately trying to stage a comeback.

Ranji champions Mumbai would try and win the Irani Trophy after a gap of 12 years.

After slogging out at the nets, Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer exuded confidence and said even the absence of heavyweights such as Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, who are on national duty against Australia, would not impact the team much.

"We have become used to their absence. Due to the busy international calendar they often skip domestic matches. It is acceptable too as we understand that they prefer to rest between the tight schedules," Jaffer said.

"But it comes as an opportunity for the youngsters. Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar and other have an opportunity to prove themselves once again.”

"I am aware that we have not won the Irani Trophy for the past 12 years and we would give our best to break the Jinx," he added.

Mumbai last won the Irani Trophy in 199-98.

On the other hand, Rest of India skipper Yuvraj once is still carrying the disappointment of being left out of the Indian Test team.

"I am not aware what goes around. I too was surprised at not being chosen. I am not aware why I was axed," said Yuvraj.

The left-hander said he is determined to make a comeback in the Indian Test team and would give his 100 per cent.

S Badrinath, Saurabh Tiwary will be keen to establish their credentials in the longer form of the game while Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey have enough experience to steer the Rest of India batting.

Lower down the order, all rounder Ravindra Jadeja, spinner Piyush Chawla and wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel are no novice with the bat.

The bowling department for the Rest of India includes medium pacers Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun, who were impressive in the Indian Premier league.

For Mumbai, the onus of putting a tall score lies on seasoned opener and skipper Wasim Jaffer who often plays the sheet anchor role.

The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Sahil Kukreja and Rohit Sharma, who can tear apart any attack, give strength to Mumbai`s batting.

It would be important for Rahane and Nayar to continue with their good form and impress the selectors.

The bowling department looks good as well with the veteran Ajit Agarkar leading the pace attack. Dhawal Kulkarni and Murtaza Hussein can also be more than handful.

The spin department also looks impressive with a proven force Romesh Powar leading the attack.