Hyderabad will be eyeing an outright win against bottom-placed Andhra to finish off its league phase on a high when the two teams meet in the Ranji Trophy Group B match at the Dr. P. V.G. Raju-ACA Sports Complex here on Sunday.
Himachal Pradesh (six matches, 22 points), Kerala (6, 20), Madhya Pradesh (6, 18) and Bengal (6, 16) are strong contenders from Group B for the next stage.
Both Hyderabad, with 16 points from seven games, and Andhra, with eight points from six, would have gained confidence from the first innings leads in their respective previous encounters.
So far, Andhra’s Ricky Bhui (six games, 637 runs) and Akshath Reddy (7, 675) have been exceptional while the others have clicked in patches.
Interestingly, the pace bowling attacks of the two teams seem to be on par though India international Mohammed Siraj and Ravi Kiran of Hyderabad miss out due to fitness issues. Youngsters Ajay Dev Goud and Thakur Tilak Verma will take their places.
“The pitch should help the fast bowlers in the morning and ease a bit later on. Looks similar to the one in Hyderabad,” said Hyderabad coach N. Arjun Yadav while exuding confidence of finishing the league stage on a high.
The teams (from):
Andhra: Bandaru Ayyappa (capt), Ricky Bhui, D.B. Prashanth Kumar, K.S. Bharat (wk), N. Jyothi Sai Krishna, C.R. Gnaneshwar, K.V. Sasikanth, P. Girinath Reddy, Md. Shoaib Khan, P. Vijay Kumar, Y. Prithvi Raj, Ashwin Hebbar, Ch. Stephen, M. Pranith and Shiva Charan Singh.
Hyderabad: P. Akshath Reddy (Capt.), B. Sandeep, Tanmay Agarwal, Rohit Rayudu, Himalay Agarwal, K.S.K. Chaitanya (w.k.), Ajay Dev Goud, C.V. Milind, Thakur Tilak Verma, Mehdi Hasan, P.S. Chaitanya Reddy, Karthikeya Kak, T. Ravi Teja and Saaket Sai Ram