Cricket

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | Delhi plays Maharashtra; TN meets Karnataka

L eading the way: Dinesh Karthik is expected to play a key role for Tamil Nadu.

L eading the way: Dinesh Karthik is expected to play a key role for Tamil Nadu.  

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IPL auction at the back of the players' minds

Over the next 12 days, a decent number of players from 10 teams will get one final shot at showcasing their abilities in the shortest format of the game, ahead of the IPL auctions in Kolkata on December 19, as the Super League phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament kicks off here on Thursday.

With IPL scouts from most teams set to prowl the two venues — C.B. Patel ground and Lalbhai Contractor Stadium — it will be interesting to see how the players and teams manage the expectations.

Delhi coach K.P. Bhaskar conceded that the IPL auction is something everyone is aware of, saying, “it is natural the auctions are at their back of their minds. But you have to keep reminding them to stay in the present and don’t think too far ahead. If you do well then automatically you would be picked there and many of them are mature enough to understand that.”

Players like Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda (Baroda), Dhruv Shorey (Delhi) and Rahul Tripathi (Maharashtra), who were recently released by their IPL teams, will hope to make a mark while fresh and promising pacers like Tushar Deshpande (Mumbai) and G. Periyasamy (Tamil Nadu) will be on the radar of a few IPL teams as well.

High-profile clashes

The Super League will see some high-profile clashes with domestic heavyweights like Mumbai, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the same group.

On Thursday, the South Indian derby between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will be the marquee match amongst the four contests.

The two teams recently met in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final, where Karnataka came out on top. It is the defending champion and has some strong players like K.L. Rahul, Karun Nair and Manish Pandey. K. Gowtham is unavailable due to injury.

Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, will miss the services of opener M. Vijay, who suffered an ankle injury and opening is an area of concern for the team, according to coach D. Vasu.

In the first match of the day, Delhi takes on Maharashtra and the relatively inexperienced team led by Shorey will depend heavily on Shikhar Dhawan to lead the way.

Mumbai and Haryana start their campaigns on Friday against Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan respectively.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 7:39:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/delhi-plays-maharashtra-tn-meets-karnataka/article30028373.ece

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