Special Correspondent

  • M. Vijay and Vikram Mani are set to turn up for Tamil Nadu
  • Virat Kohli and the Ishant Sharma will make debut for the host

    NEW DELHI: Former champions Tamil Nadu and Delhi find themselves in the same boat on the eve of their Ranji Trophy match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Wednesday.

    Looking for redemption after some forgettable performances in the last couple of seasons, the teams have reasons to be hopeful ahead of the Pool `A' encounter in the Elite Group.

    Tamil Nadu captain S. Badrinath and his Delhi counterpart Mithun Manhas have teams nearly at full-strength, some players hoping for the nod from the National selectors, a few exciting prospects, good pace attack to make up the lack of choice in the spin department and a formidable batting line-up.

    The common factors continue with each team likely to blood two youngsters on Thursday. Opener M. Vijay and wicketkeeper Vikram Mani are set to turn up for Tamil Nadu, while batsman Virat Kohli and the lanky medium pacer Ishant Sharma will debut for the host.

    In addition, if Delhi will miss injured medium pacer Amit Bhandari, indications are that Tamil Nadu will be without the pace spearhead, L. Balaji.

    Badrinath, the most prolific run-getter in the last Ranji season, will be hoping for another eye-catching run to land a place in the Indian middle-order in Tests. Hemang Badani, a forgotten campaigner, remains a batsman capable of turning the clock back.

    For S. Sharath, having played 97 Ranji matches, the season promises to be one of milestones. The amiable batsman is not only looking forward to playing his 100th match but also hitting two more centuries and join the select band of those with 25 or more hundreds in the National championship.

    Delhi's openers Gautam Gambhir, in-form Aakash Chopra and Ashish Nehra, will be keen to win back the trust of the National selectors.

    The teams: Delhi: Mithun Manhas (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rajat Bhatia, Vijay Dahiya, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma, Chetnya Nanda, and Rahul Sanghvi or Kuunal Lall.

    Tamil Nadu: S. Badrinath (captain), S. Vidyut, M. Vijay, S. Anirudh, S. Sharath, R. Satish, H. K. Badani, Vikram Mani, A. Kapoor, C. Suresh, V. Yomahesh, L. Balaji, R. Jesuraj, R. Naresh, R. Prasanna and D. Tamilkumaran.

    Umpires: Messrs Sanjay Hazare (Baroda) and Amesh Saheba (Ahmedabad); Match Referee: Mr. Sunil Chaturvedi (Mumbai).

    More In: SPORT | Today's Paper