Title contenders Delhi and minnows Maharashtra will start off from completely contrasting situations when they square off against each other in the second round Ranji Trophy group league encounter.
While Delhi whipped Assam by an innings and 83 runs in the first game, Maharashtra lost to Jharkhand by six wickets.
Also Maharashtra will be a depleted side with their regular skipper Kedar Jadhav joining the national squad for the ODI series against New Zealand.
Delhi have an injury concern with senior all-rounder Pradeep Sangwan down with a side strain.
Sangwan has not practised for the last two days and will be a doubtful starter against Maharashtra. His presence is important as he lends that fine all-round balance to the side having scored an 87-ball-100 and taken five wickets in the match.
“Sangwan is an important player in our scheme of things. We have given him two days of complete rest just to see if he can get fit by tomorrow morning. In case he can’t make it, Pawan Suyal (left-arm quick) will be a like for like replacement. As a coach, I believe in horses for courses but obviously would not like the core of the team to be tinkered with,” Delhi chief coach KP Bhaskar told PTI.
Bhaskar was all praise for youngsters Rishabh Pant and Nitish Rana, who scored century in the last match.
“I am personally very excited that we have such talent like Rishabh. He may not have played too many matches last season and would look like a bit thin on experience but after U-19 World Cup and IPL with Daredevils, he has shown that he belongs to this level. Nitish is also a fantastic prospect and their performance augurs well for Delhi cricket,” said Bhaskar.
For Maharastra, a lot will depend on their middle-order batsman Ankit Bawne, who will have to shoulder bulk of responsibility in absence of Jadhav, who scored half-centuries in both innings.
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