Toss expected to be key again as Delhi take on Mumbai
New Delhi: Toss is again expected to be the decisive factor as Delhi prepares to take on Mumbai in the semifinal of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Saturday on a difficult Ferozshah Kotla track, which has come under severe criticism.
The wicket has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the start of the 50-over tournament with Wasim Jaffer, Robin Uthappa and Railways coach Abhay Sharma lashing out at the 22-yard strip.
While both teams have some established names – Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Rajat Bhatia and Ishant Sharma (if he plays) from Delhi and captain Ajit Agarkar, Ajinkya Rahane and Jaffer in the Mumbai line-up -- sealing a berth in the title clash would, to some extent, hinge on the toss.
While the Asia Cup-bound Gautam Gambhir will be missed, Nehra, who did not play the quarterfinal against Railways due to a hamstring injury, will bolster the attack that is well represented by Bhatia, Pradeep Sangwan and Pawan Suyal.
The left-handed opener Dhawan, who top-scored with 69 in the last match, would be eager to extend his good run with the bat, while Bhatia is expected to be his usual reliable self in the marquee match.
Also on the lookout for runs would be old hand Mithun Manhas.
As far as Mumbai are concerned, they will be high on confidence after the nine-wicket drubbing of Karnataka in their last-eight match.
Delhi would be wary of Kshemal Waingankar, who sent Karnataka crashing to 178, while there is also the experienced Agarkar along with Dhawal Kulkarni and Iqbal Abdulla.
The batting looks formidable with Jaffer and Rahane opening the innings.
Both Jaffer and Rahane had a good outing against Karnataka, hitting 68 and 71 not out, respectively.
Also to watch out for would be 22-year-old right-handed batsman Suryakumar Yadav, who has already amassed over 1000 runs in just 11 first-class matches.