Ranji Trophy: Delhi's 'Big Two' eye another dominating show
Captain Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag have been instrumental in taking Delhi to the top of group B and will once again look to dominate proceedings when the hosts take on a lowly-placed Odisha in their Ranji Trophy cricket match, here on Tuesday.
New Delhi: Captain Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag have been instrumental in taking Delhi to the top of group B and will once again look to dominate proceedings when the hosts take on a lowly-placed Odisha in their Ranji Trophy cricket match, here on Tuesday.
Having already pocketed three of their four matches, Delhi will be looking to consolidate their pole position if the weather in the national capital holds up in the four-day encounter at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
If Gambhir started the side's opener with a belligerent 147 against Saurashtra in early December then Sehwag started the new year with a blazing hundred against Haryana at Lahli.
Having been snubbed by the national selectors after being omitted from even the 30-member squad that was picked for the World Cup, the veteran batsmen have taken to domestic season with purpose.
Even after a couple of fog-affected games at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi have never allowed the momentum to slip and have also managed to bag a bonus point from the Gujarat game.
Sehwag has scored two centuries while Gambhir and Unmukt Chand have managed one each to make the side's batting look unbeatable. Once a strong pillar of Indian batting, Sehwag showed glimpses of his might in a 181-ball 147, laced with 16 fours and a six, in the last match in Lahli but the game ended in a disappointing draw with the weather forcing the final day's play to be abandoned.
Delhi still managed to bag three points on the basis of their first-innings lead. Even the bowling, led by Sumit Narwal and Parwinder Awana, has looked lethal in favourable conditions. The young medium-pacer from Karnal, Navdeep Saini, has also made his presence felt with great support from Rajat Bhatia and left-arm spinner Varun Sood.
Odisha, on the other hand, have struggled in the four matches gone by, collecting only one win. Placed seventh in the nine-team group, the Abhilash Mallick-led side has a lot of catching up to do in trying to climb up the ladder.
If the batting has lacked enough punch then the bowling, led by the experienced Basant Mohanty, hasn't provided the necessary breakthroughs when needed. Matching up to Delhi's might, especially on their home turf, will not be easy for the East Zone side.