|Scorecard:||Mumbai v Hyderabad, Gujarat v Punjab, Delhi v Orissa|
|Event:||Ranji Trophy 2008/09|
DateLine: 9th December 2008
Group A - Previews - Elite League
Hyderabad v/s Punjab
|Hyderabad: Total Points=10; Position=5 Played=5, Win=0, Loss=1, Draw=4 (Bonus Point=0)||Punjab: Total Points=7; Position=7 Played=5, Win=1, Loss=2, Draw=2 (Bonus Point=0)|
In the points table of Group A of the eight teams Hyderabad lies in the fifth position almost out of contention for the quarterfinals for the Ranji Trophy. In their last outing against a powerful Mumbai outfit they were given a heavy thrashing, losing the vital contest by an innings and also helping them to get a bonus point. In the coming match against Punjab the Hyderabadi outfit should try to regain some momentum under their belt so that they can give themselves an outside chance to reach the quarterfinals of the Ranji championships. With their premium batsman V.V.S. Laxman and their lead spinner PP Ojha called up for national duty the Hyderabadi captain Arjun Yadav will have his job cut out.
The bowling had faltered under the relentless attacking batting from the Mumbai batsmen and the only bright spot in their woeful match was the batting prowess of Ravi Teja who went on to score a quick-fire 107 in the second essay.
Punjab meanwhile is lying in the seventh position and is facing a ignominy of relegation to the Plate Group. Punjab like their next opposition had to face a huge defeat at the hands Gujarat. They had to face the option of following on and to rub salt on their wounds Gujarat chased down the small target that they had so painstakingly set with ten wickets to spare. There were no real bright spots in Punjab’s heavy defeat other than Gangandeep Singh running in hard and tirelessly and picking up a five-fer and their batting was in shambles. So to look for an inspiration to push for a better performance will be a very difficult job for them. Pankaj Dharmani will be feeling the heat to try to turn around the fortunes of his sagging team. With Yuvraj Singh called up for national duty it is looking increasingly bleak for Punjab.
Hyderabad (from): Arjun Yadav (capt), T Suman, Ravi Teja, Rushi Raj, Anoop Pai, Abhinav Kumar (wk), Ahmed Qhadri, SM Shoaib, Lalit Mohan, Ashwin Yadav, Abdul Khader and MP Arjun
Punjab (from): Charanjeet Singh, P Dharmani (captain), Gangandeep Singh, K Goel, MS Gony, R Inder Singh, Jaskaran Singh, A Kakkar, S Kaul, U Kaul, V Khanna, RS Ricky, Sarabjit Singh and S Sohal.
Saurashtra v/s Delhi
Saurashtra: Total Points: 18; Position 2
Played=5, Win=2, Loss=1, Draw=2 (Bonus Point=2)
Delhi: Total Points=11; Position=4
Played=5, Win=1, Loss=0, Draw=4 (Bonus Point=0)
The factors of form and luck that the Saurashtra team had benefited last season seem to have spilled into this season too. Most of their batsmen are in form especially the young prodigy C. Pujara who seems to relish the prospect of going out and batting. They seem to follow the same philosophy of Mumbai of burying down the opposition in an avalanche of runs and then chipping away at their batting resources. The sound thrashing that they gave to Rajasthan in their last match shows their meticulous game plan that they follow. They will be looking to emulate the performance that they had put up the last time of reaching the semi-finals and also trying to reach the finals this time. Jaydev Shah the skipper is in an enviable position in the sense that he does not have to scratch his head in the anticipation of where the next runs or wickets would come for his team.
The Delhi camp meanwhile will be relieved that they were able to open their winning account with their hard fought victory against Orissa. It was a very interesting match, a low scoring one which from the first ball bowled looked like heading towards a result. Chopra who is in charge as Delhi camp is bereft of their international Gambhir, Sehwag and Sharma will be hard pressed to try to pocket this match too. The current champions are holding onto the fourth position by the skin of their teeth and hopeful that none of the teams below them make any dramatic recovery to upstage them from their current position and lose their quarterfinal slot. In the absence of the internationals the batting responsibility falls upon Chopra his newly appointed deputy Shiker Dhawan to carry the batting to a respectable score.
Saurashtra (from): CR Pathak, BM Chauhan, SH Kotak, CA Pujara, RA Jadeja, JN Shah (captain), KR Makwana, SD Jogiyani(wicket keeper), RV Dhruve, SP Jobanputra, BN Jadeja
Delhi (from): Aakash Chopra (c), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Mithun Manhas, Virat Kohli, Rajat Bhatia, Punit Bisht, Chetanya Nanda, Pradeep Sangwan, Ashish Nehra, Mayank Tehlan, Parvinder Sharma, Sumit Narwal, Narender Singh, Aditya Jain, Gaurav Chhabra and Rahul Yadav
Group B - Previews - Elite League
Baroda v/s Tamil Nadu