Irani Trophy, a big test for allSeptember 23rd, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS
Vadodara, Sep 23 (IANS) The Irani Trophy match beginning here Wednesday will be the last opportunity for players from Rest of India and Ranji Trophy champions Delhi to impress the selectors before the four-Test series against Australia kicks off.Delhi, led by in-form Virender Sehwag, looks a balanced side on paper but the star-filled Rest of India under Anil Kumble will be tough to match.
Sachin Tendulkar’s pull-out from the match has deprived him of some useful match practice while Mohammad Kaif will be trying to fill the place created by the omission of Sourav Ganguly.
Rahul Dravid would want to end his long run-drought and also prove that he is still good at the Test level.
Another batsman who would be closely watched is Wasim Jaffer, who had a terrible run in Australia and the home series against South Africa. The race for the openers slot is open with both Akash Chopra and Virat Kohli making a case for themselves with their performance in Mohammad Nissar Trophy last week. As of now Gautam Gambhir appears to partner Sehwag in the first Test starting in Bangalore from Oct 9.
In the bowling department, R. P. Singh and Munaf Patel would want to put up a solid show and get a call-up for the first Test.
Rest of India: Anil Kumble (captain), MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), S Badrinath, Ashok Dinda, Rahul Dravid, Harbhajan Singh, Wasim Jaffer, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, VVS Laxman, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel and RP Singh.
Delhi: Virender Sehwag (captain), Narender Singh, Amit Bhandari, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht (wicketkeeper), Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Mithun Manhas, Chetanya Nanda, Ashish Nehra, Pradeep Sangwan, Ishant Sharma, Mayank Tehlan.