While the senior team completed their white-ball sojourn against Windies on a positive note, it is time for the juniors to kickstart the Indian domestic season with a red-ball tournament. The 58th edition of Duleep Trophy is on the doorstep and once again it is an opportunity for the promising youngsters. The BCCI has already picked the squads for the three teams. A total of 4 games will be played in the tournament with the first one involving India Blue and India Green.
The defending champs, India Blue are the hot favourites because of their impressive record in the tournament. They have lifted the trophy twice in three years. This time the team will be served by some prodigious talents in the form of Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Looking at their 15-member squad one can say that they have a strong batting unit but they are light on their fast bowling stocks. Still, they have a good mix of youth and experience on their side.
On the contrary, the India Green team will be aiming for their first title. They have failed to win a single game in each of their last three seasons. However, in this season they have a lot of positives starting from their skipper, Faiz Fazal who led the India Blue team to the victory lane a year ago. With quality batting and bowling goods, they have a well-rounded side. So, it is their best chance to score over their opponents.
The Punjab teenager, Shubman Gill will be opening the innings with Snell Patel with the former also given the leadership duties. Anmolpreet Singh will be fighting for the No.3 position with the MP top-order batsman, Rajat Patidar. Ricky Bhui, Rituraj Gaikwad and Ankit Bawne will make up the middle-order. Snell Patel is likely to make the playing XI because of his keeping abilities and can also support the team with his batting.
Jalaj Saxena and Shreyas Gopal will be the all-round options and both are game-changers. Gopal will be keen to repeat his 2019 IPL heroics and a good performance can boost his selection chances for the upcoming home series against South Africa. Last year’s leading wicket-taker Saurabh Kumar will be the premier spinner. The pace battery will be charged by Aniket Choudhary and Tushar Deshpande.
Shubman Gill (C), Snell Patel (WK), Anmolpreet Singh, Ankeet Bawne, Ricky Bhui, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Gopal, Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena, Tushar Deshpande, Aniket Choudhary.
The Vidarbha batting mainstay, Faiz Fazal will be looking to guide the team from the front. He will be accompanied by the teenager, Priyam Garg who is the find of the recently concluded tri-series in the UK. The Hyderabad skipper, Akshath Reddy will be plying his trade at top of the order. Siddesh Lad will be providing stability in the middle-order. Akshay Wadkar will be the first choice keeper-batsman in the team.
Akshdeep Nath can provide the required balance with his batting and medium-pace bowling. He might get a place ahead of Milind Kumar because of his good record with the bat in the domestic circuit. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Rahul Chahar can be the front line spinners because of their recent form. Ankit Rajpoot will be taking the new ball and he might share it with Rajasthan left-arm pacer, Tanveer -Ul-Haq.
Faiz Fazal (C), Akshath Reddy, Siddhesh Lad, Priyam Garg, Akshdeep Nath, Akshay Wadkar (WK), Rahul Chahar, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Tanveer-Ul-Haq.
The focus will be on
Shubman Gill (India Blue)
It has been a memorable year for Shubman Gill as he got his International cap earlier in the year. Then he continued his growth in the IPL 2019 with a string of good scores while opening the innings. He also had a fruitful Caribbean tour by notching up a double-century in a four-day game. Now in the absence of Prithivi Shaw, it is a wonderful chance to make his case for the classic format by putting up a good show.
Faiz Fazal (India Green)
The experienced campaigner from Maharashtra has been scoring heavily for the Vidarbha team in the domestic arena. He was the highest run-getter when the side won its maiden Ranji Trophy in 2018. The southpaw got his ODI cap in 2016 and stroked a half-century. At the moment India lacks an established opener in the whites and he can be a reliable option for the next couple of years.
Head to Head
Matches played – 3 | India Blue won – 0 | Indian Green won – 0 | Draw – 3
66.67 – Win percentage recorded by India Blue in Duleep Trophy
TV – Star Sports, Star Sports HD
Online – Hotstar
Match Timings – 9:00 IST
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