Ranji Trophy: Delhi goes for a green top against Maharashtra


New Delhi: A confident Delhi have once again decided to go for a green top in their Ranji Trophy Super League home tie against Maharashtra beginning Tuesday at the Roshanara Club ground.

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Delhi’s four-pronged pace attack made the most of a lively track to beat Saurashtra for their season’s first victory last week. The team understandably wants to stick with the gameplan.

The home side is also lifted by the change of leadership. In a bold move Sunday, the selectors decided to continue with young Virat Kohli, who led the team in absence of Aakash Chopra, as the captain. Chopra, who took leave for his wedding, returns against Maharashtra.

Delhi with nine points and a third place in Group B, will be looking for a victory to be in contention to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya is confident his side will fetch full points.

“We hope to continue the winning trend. We are not taking Maharashtra lightly. But our seamers are our strength and so we will have a green track this time as well. It should be a result oriented pitch,” Dahiya said.

The onus will be on pacers Pradeep Sangwan, who played a stellar role with the bat as well, Parvinder Awana, Sumit Narwal and Pawan Suyal to repeat their performance.

Chopra, who has not been in best of form this season, would be eager to score a good knock and shore up Delhi’s depleted batting.

Wicket-keeper Puneet Bisht was the saviour in their last match with a fighting century that pulled Delhi out of trouble and gave them the crucial first innings lead.

With two losses and two draws, the young Maharashtra side are at the bottom of Group B with four points. Their batsmen are among runs with Ankit Bawane, Kedar Jadhav and captain Harshad Khadiwale each getting a century. Rohit Motwani, 18, with three half-centuries is the leading run-getter of the team.

Delhi will be wary of Maharashtra left-arm seamer Samad Fallah and left-arm spinner Kiran Adhav who have been impressive in the season so far.

The teams (from):

Delhi: Virat Kohli (captain), Aakash Chopra, Ankur Julka, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Yogesh Nagar, Puneet Bisht, Sumit Narwal, Pradeep Sangwan, Parvinder Awana, Pawan Suyal, Vikas Mishra, Gaurav Chhabra, Aditya Jain and Abhishek Kapoor.

Maharashtra: Harshad Khadiwale (captain), Rohan Bhosale, Sangram Atitkar, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawane, Ganesh Gaikwad, Rohit Motwani, Samad Fallah, Sajin Sureshnath, Kiran Adhav, Azhar Ansari, Digambar Waghmare, Ranjit Chavan, Amay Shrikhande and Jitendra Patil.

Umpires: Messrs S. Ramakrishna and P. Bhanu Prakash; Col. Chinmaya Sharma;

Umpires’ coach: Mr. Vinayak Kulkarni.