Ranji Trophy: Gambhir misses practice but to play final

It was learnt that Gambhir, who missed the training session on Wednesday as well, will join the team on Thursday evening.

Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant (extreme right) with teammates Dhruv Shorey (left) and Nitish Rana during the net session on the eve of the Ranji Trophy final against Vidarbha.   -  R.V. MOORTHY

 

As the Delhi players hit the nets at the Holkar Stadium here on Thursday morning, the spectators were for looking for one man. But Gautam Gambhir—Delhi’s batting mainstay — could not be seen anywhere, which led to speculations on his availability for the final against Vidarbha starting on Friday.

It was learnt that Gambhir, who missed the training session on Wednesday as well, will join the team on Thursday evening.

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However, Delhi’s young skipper, Rishabh Pant, dismissed rumours and said there were no injury scares in the team.

Interestingly, Delhi won its Ranji Trophy title for the last time in 2007-08 under Gambhir’s leadership. And now, as a young side gears up for another historic feat, it will certainly pin its hopes on its most experienced batsman.

Even Pant agreed that with a senior like Gambhir around, he has been able to lead the side well. “Gautam bhaiya is there, and even the others are supporting me,” he said.

Pant also confirmed that 'Gambhir is fit and will play the final.'

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There has also been instances when Gambhir and coach K. P. Bhaskar have motivated the boys by narrating stories from their playing days. “They tell us what they did, and those things help. But the game is changing fast, so you have to play good cricket. You need to perform well and play your best,” Pant said.

With the iconic Holkar Stadium track likely to give edge to the batsmen, Gambhir’s experience will come in handy for Delhi.