Balance and experience ease Chandigarh's nerves ahead of domestic debut

Ahead of its domestic debut in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Chandigarh captain Manan Vohra takes solace in the team's depth and experience.

Chandigarh skipper Manan Vohra (batting) will look to come good with the bat as his team makes its debut in the Indian domestic circuit. (File photo)   -  Akhilesh Kumar

 The Chandigarh squad appeared unhurried and relaxed ahead of its first-ever contest in a BCCI domestic season. V. R. V. Singh, the head coach, himself sent down a few deliveries alongside his other fast bowlers even as batsmen faced spinners in the adjoining practice area at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here.

According to captain Manan Vohra, the “nerves” the team members felt going into the contest against Uttarakhand on Wednesday were camouflaged, at least temporarily.

READ : Vijay Hazare Trophy: Schedule, time, teams, who is playing whom and where

With a number of well-known players, Chandigarh cannot be termed as an underdog within the Plate Group. Besides Vohra, the team has a well-known batsman in Uday Kaul, and an accomplished all-rounder in Bipul Sharma, the vice-captain. The addition of Barinder Sran, the fast bowler, adds experience in the fast bowling department, too. Sran’s late inclusion made it five players who played for Punjab last season switching allegiance to Chandigarh.

“The team is very well balanced. Batsmen are in a higher ratio in our team but the inclusion of Barinder Sran [has made bowling equally strong]. He just came into the team, as a guest player he will be playing for us. Experience counts; he has played for the country. The other bowlers are new. I think it’ll be a good experience for them that they will be playing in such a big stage. V. R. V. paa will be taking care of the bowling unit, and batting coach is there,” Vohra told Sportstar ahead of his team’s contest against Uttarakhand.

For Vohra himself, there is much more at stake personally. After being an IPL regular for Kings XI Punjab for a brief period, he wasn’t able to secure a single game last season for Rajasthan Royals.

READ : Vijay Hazare Trophy: Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu in spotlight

After having participated in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in February, Vohra has kept himself busy with other matches in the lead-up to the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

“I didn’t get the opportunities in the IPL. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, I was in good touch. Our [Rajasthan Royals] team was packed with senior players. After that I’ve been playing for Punjab inter-district. I went to Karnataka (State Cricket Association) also; I got a triple hundred over there (at the Dr. (Capt) K. Thimmappiah Memorial Tournament),” he said.

Besides their performances, Vohra and the other experienced players in the squad also have the additional responsibility of guiding the youngsters in the team.

Cohesiveness will determine the strength of the side that's excited to be part a historic moment in Dehradun.

SQUAD: Manan Vohra (c), Arjun Azad, Gurinder Sran, Bipul Sharma, Ankit Kaushik, Gaurav Puri, Anirudh Kanwar, Gurinder Singh, Uday Kaul, Jaskaran Singh Sohi, Preet Kamal Singh Rai, Jaskaran Singh Buttar, Shivam Bhambri, Shreshth Nirmohi, Arpit Singh Pannu