The 2019-20 edition of India’s premier First-Class competition- Ranji Trophy is in full force with two sets of rounds already completed across the length and breadth of the country. The tournament has already quite a few upsets with Himachal Pradesh comprehensively beating Tamil Nadu in what turned out to be a low-scoring affair in Dindigul; come-from-behind heists; pulsating stroke-play and gobsmacking bowling performances in the past two rounds.
Another top-side- apart fr0m Tamil Nadu- that has struggled in the opening two rounds is Delhi. The Northern heavyweights succumbed to a nine-wicket defeat to Andhra in the second round before having already conceded a first-innings lead in an otherwise drawn encounter against Kerala.
Delhi is in a dire need of a turnaround and their chances of making that happen in their Round 03 encounter against Hyderabad on home soil have been bolstered with the inclusion of senior fast bowler Ishant Sharma and veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan in their set-up.
“Ishant and Shikhar will be playing for Delhi. My colleague Sarandeep Singh will be watching that match,” said chief selector MSK Prasad, who is set to fly to Surat to watch Jasprit Bumrah’s first competitive game after injury.
Ranni Trophy match, a perfect opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan to get back into the groove
As part of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s [BCCI] workload management program, Ishant Sharma was rested from the opening rounds of Delhi’s 2019 Ranji Trophy campaign, and now the right-hander will try to get back into the groove by playing four-day cricket for the all-important tour of New Zealand in January-February.
As for Shikhar Dhawan, the southpaw will also make a return to competitive cricket, after an unfortunate injury during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, that saw him miss out on the limited-over series between India and West Indies. Dhawan has been named in the 15-man squad that will take on Sri Lanka for the three-match T20I series and the succeeding One-day series against the visiting Australians.
Dhawan has grappled with injuries and patchy form throughout the year, and with KL Rahul making the most of his opportunities, the pressure is on the southpaw- especially in T20 cricket- to regain his opening slot, and he’ll be looking to get some runs behind him in the Ranji Trophy fixture against Hyderabad before the International duties come calling.
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