SPORT

West Zone takes on East Zone

FOCUSSED: West Zone’s Wasim Jaffer (right) and Cheteshwar Pujara during practice session at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday.

FOCUSSED: West Zone’s Wasim Jaffer (right) and Cheteshwar Pujara during practice session at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Vivek Bendre

G. Viswanath

Jaffer, Parthiv fancying chances for national recall

Mumbai: The Duleep Trophy semifinal between West and East Zones commences at the Brabourne Stadium here on Thursday.

Wasim Jaffer and Parthiv Patel are still fancying their chances for a national recall. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Wriddhiman Saha, Saurabh Tiwary and Ashok Dinda hope to make an impact.

Jaffer, the West Zone captain, has amassed runs in this season’s Ranji Trophy (1260) and Patel played his part for Gujarat.

But the East Zone captain Shiv Sundar Das is not in the same boat though; his run of 23 Test appearances came to an end almost seven years ago.

Strong team

West Zone has been lucky to field a strong team despite the absence of seven players — Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Munaf Patel and Ravindra Jadeja — doing duty for India in Sri Lanka.

“It doesn’t matter if we are regarded as favourites or the underdogs, what’s important is how we perform as a team on all the four days. We have the top run-getters and the wicket- takers in the Ranji Trophy. The CCI wicket would play true, there would be something for the batsmen and bowlers,” said Jaffer.

The East Zone skipper said he would have to wait till the arrival of the selector to finalise the composition of the team. “We have a good seam attack in Ranadeb Bose, Dinda and Basanth Mohanty. It’s going to be a challenge for us. West has a strong batting line-up. But whichever teams copes with the new ball will take the upper hand.”

Erasmus to officiate

Meanwhile, ICC Panel umpire Marais Erasmus from South Africa will be one of the on-field umpires at the Brabourne Stadium.

It’s part of the exchange programme between India and South Africa.

He will also stand in the final of the inter-zonal competition in Chennai.

Last September India’s ICC Panel umpire Suresh Shastri officiated in a few domestic matches in South Africa.

The teams (from): West Zone: Wasim Jaffer (captain), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kedar Jadhav, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Siddharth Trivedi, Samad Fallah, Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar, Ameya Shrikande, Azhar Bilakia, Bavik Thaker, Ajitesh Argal.

East Zone: Shiv Sundar Das (captain), Rashmiranjan Parida, Niranjan Behera, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Nishit Shetty, Ranadeb Bose, Basanth Mohanty, Halhadar Das, Tushar Saha, Anand Katti, Jayanta Debnath, Dibyendu Chakrabarty, Krishna Das, Ashok Dinda, Saurabh Tiwary.

Umpires: Shahvir Tarapore and Marais Erasmus (South Africa).

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