The Round 3 match in the Elite Group A of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20 will be played between Kerala and Saurashtra at the Just Cricket Academy Ground in Bangalore.
The match starts at 9:00 AM local time (IST) (3:30 AM GMT)
Kerala and Saurashtra will face off in the Group A match on Wednesday at the Just Cricket Academy Ground. The continuous rain in Bangalore hasn’t allowed even the toss to take place in the first two days across the three venues. Saurashtra’s game against Mumbai on tournament’s opening day and Kerala’s match against Chhattisgarh were two of those six Group A matches.
Jaydev Unadkat is named Saurashtra skipper while Robin Uthappa is set for his maiden stint with Kerala and will be leading them. Interestingly, he was part of Saurashtra over the last couple of seasons after moving out of his home side Karnataka. Sanju Samson will be the player to look out for in this game given the hype around him over the last six months from former players and experts.
The matches in Bangalore are under the threat of rain for the 3rd consecutive day. Rain with thunderstorm is forecasted for Thursday but the chances of rain are bit lesser.
Just like the last season’s matches, we could see moderate scores at the Just Cricket Academy. The low scores last year were mostly due to the early start. With moisture around due to continuous rains, the same could be seen this year. The chasing teams are likely to have a good record here.
Average first innings score: 218 (Unreduced Vijay Hazare Trophy matches in 2018/19 season)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 4, Lost – 2
Injury and Availability News:
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Jalaj Saxena are part of the Board President’s XI squad which faces South Africa in the match starting on Thursday.
Probable Playing XIs:
Vishnu Vinod, Rahul P, Robin Uthappa (C), Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby, Akshay Chandran, Mohammed Azharuddeen (WK), Sijomon Joseph, Asif KM, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Warrier.
Bench: Jalaj Saxena, Midhun S, Nidheesh M D, Salman Nizar.
Sheldon Jackson, Harvik Desai, Himalay Barad, Arpit Vasavada, Kamlesh Makwana, Chirag Jani, Prerak Mankad, Jay Chauhan, Jaydev Unadkat (C), Kushang Patel, Agnivesh Ayachi
Bench: Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Hardik Rathod, Rajdeep Darbar, Vishvaraj Jadeja.
Sheldon Jackson’s List A record will make him a must pick. He has scored two hundreds across nine innings in the previous two editions of Vijay Hazare. Sanju Samson doesn’t have great domestic record but will be motivated by being in contention of selection. Jaydev Unadkat will be important having bagged 16 wickets in the previous edition.
Vishnu Vinod had got starts in most of the games but his conversion rate is an issue. Kushang Patel took 17 wickets in only six matches during the 2016/17 season which includes two 4-wicket hauls. However, he didn’t feature in the next two seasons and only played a season of Syed Mushtaq Ali since then.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Chirag Jani, Sheldon Jackson, Sachin Baby, Robin Uthappa
Vice-Captain – Sanju Samson, Jaydev Unadkat, Vishnu Vinod, Kushang Patel
Sachin Baby could be a decent option as captain or vice-captain since he will bowl a few overs.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Sheldon Jackson
Batsmen – Sachin Baby (VC), Robin Uthappa, Vishnu Vinod, Arpit Vasavada
All-Rounders – Kamlesh Makwana, Chirag Jani (C)
Bowlers – Jaydev Unadkat, Kushang Patel, Akshay Chandran, Basil Thampi
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Harvik Desai, Sanju Samson (VC), Sheldon Jackson (C)
Batsmen – Robin Uthappa, Vishnu Vinod, Himalay Barad
All-Rounders – Chirag Jani, Prerak Mankad
Bowlers – Jaydev Unadkat, Sandeep Warrier, Basil Thampi
Kerala’s batting order is something that could make a difference. If P Rahul gets promoted as an opener, all the senior batsmen will come one position down.
Kerala’s pace attack could make the difference if the conditions are tough for batting due to rains.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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