Delhi and Haryana started the year with a face-off at Lahli in January. Since then, much has changed for these teams. Virender Sehwag, centurion in that Ranji Trophy match, switched to Haryana as its new captain. Delhi, looking to rebuild, has only three players from the drawn encounter in its likely playing XI when the two clash at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Thursday.
Haryana, which conceded the first innings in the drawn opener against Maharashtra 10 days ago, and had a break in the second round, can be expected to come hard at the host. Since there is no love lost between Sehwag and his counterpart Gautam Gambhir, one can expect more than just a contest over the next four days.
Surendra Bhave, the former Maharashtra opener and ex-National selector, sounded pleased with Sehwag's presence in the side. “His captaincy and inputs are going to be very crucial. He addresses the team and also speaks to the younger players individually. There is so much for the Haryana youngsters to gain from the experience that Sehwag brings to the dressing room.”
Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya sounded as though he was holding a brief for Gambhir when he said, “We are playing against a team, not an individual (read Sehwag).”
Now it remains to be seen whether Delhi effectively deals with Sehwag's Haryana or the visiting captain inspires a different script.
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At Dharamsala: Himachal Pradesh vs Hyderabad
At Jammu: Jammu & Kashmir vs Services
At Bengaluru: Karnataka vs Vidarbha
At Malappuram: Kerala vs Jharkhand
At Mumbai: Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu
At Cuttack: Odisha vs Assam
At Mohali: Punjab vs Gujarat
At Ghaziabad: Uttar Pradesh vs Railways
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