Ranji Trophy: Delhi look to regain pride against Odisha
Delhi will look to regain their lost pride as they take on Odisha in the second round of the Ranji Trophy Group B cricket tie which starts here Friday at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Having suffered a humiliating first-round loss to Uttar Pradesh, despite the presence of Test stars like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, Delhi will want to stamp their authority on Odisha. The visitors split points with Tamil Nadu after their match was washed out in Cuttack.
Though the hosts will be without the services of their stars, coach Vijay Dahiya sounded confident that he has enough back-up for the rest of the season. Flamboyant opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who recently got married, will be leading the side.
Dhawan missed the last match since he was representing Mumbai A against England XI in a practice match. The 26-year-old, who has performed consistently for Delhi, failed to make an impact in the match played in Navi Mumbai.
Delhi's middle-order will bank on the experience of former captain Mithun Manhas, who looked solid during Delhi's second innings against Uttar Pradesh in Ghaziabad where he went on to score 65.
Haze and cool weather conditions will make the wicket seamer-friendly. In the absence of Ishant, Kings XI Punjab bowler Parvinder Awana could be included in the side.
All-rounder Sumit Narwal could also prove useful for the hosts as both sides look for their first win this season.
Odisha on the other hand will take time to settle in the match as they merely played 33.1 overs and spent only 176 minutes over the four days of their Ranji tie which was washed out.
Biplab Samantray will remain the key for the visitors as the 26-year-old Deccan Chargers batsman performed consistently in the last season.
However, Odisha are currently in a better position than Delhi as the draw in the opening round led them to have a point against Delhi, who are yet to open their account after a six-wicket loss.