As India and the West Indies begin the battle for ODI series honours at the Barabati Stadium on Tuesday, Zaheer Khan, turning out for former champion Mumbai, will be assessing his fitness level in a Ranji Trophy super league group ‘A' match against Odisha at the nearby DRIEMS ground in Tangi.
Zaheer will be playing a Ranji match after the 2008-09 final at Hyderabad.
With Mumbai second in the super league group standing with 10 points from three games, the visitors will be looking to garner full points against Odisha which is languishing at the bottom of the league table with just one point.
On paper Mumbai looks an overwhelming favourite. For the young Odisha side, under captain and opening batsman Natraj Behera, it will be a real test to face the combined strength of Mumbai attack which looks well balanced in both pace and spin.
Odisha batsmen have scored heavily against both Saurashtra and Uttar Pradesh but the loss to Punjab has hurt the team deeply.
Odisha has brought back its wicketkeeper batsman Haladhar Das, who was dropped on disciplinary ground before the Punjab game. He tendered a written apology and was reprieved.
The pitch, according to Odisha skipper, is a flat bed. The team that wins the toss will not think twice in opting to bat.
The teams (from):
Mumbai: Wasim Jaffer (capt.), Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Ramesh Powar, Abhishek Nayar, Suryakumar Yadav, Onkar Gaurav, Iqbal Abdulla, Ankit Chavan, Dhaval Kulkarni, Avishkar Salvi, Hiken Shah, Nikhil Patil (Jr.), Kaustubh Pawar and Akhil Herwadkar.
Odisha: Natraj Behera (capt.), Bikash Swarup Pati, Paresh Patel, Niranjan Behera, Abhilash Mallick, Biplab Samantaray, Deepak Behera, Haladhar Das (wk), Subit Biswal, Basanta Mohanty, Alok Mangraj, Dhiraj Singh, Jayanta Behera, Preetamjeet Das, Subhrajit Sahoo (wk), Lagnajit Samal and Santosh Jena .