Ranji Trophy: Hyderabad and Haryana aim to get out of relegation

Hyderabad was relegated to Group C after finishing last in Group A in the 2012-13 season. Since then, it has done little to regain its spot among the 18 elite teams in the National championship. Haryana was relegated last season following a winless campaign.

ranji trophy

Hyderabad collected six points after beating Goa in its first match.   -  PTI

Former champions Hyderabad and Haryana are aiming to come out of relegation in the Ranji Trophy.

Hyderabad was relegated to Group C after finishing last in Group A in the 2012-13 season. Since then, it has done little to regain its spot among the 18 elite teams in the National championship. Haryana was relegated last season following a winless campaign.

On the brighter side, both teams started well this season. Hyderabad collected six points off Goa while Haryana settled for three after taking the first innings lead against Services.

The two clash at the Keenan Stadium here in the second round of the league starting on Thursday. The match was shifted from Ranchi as it is being readied to host India-New Zealand later this month.

Hyderabad, under new captain S. Badrinath will be looking to gain from his experience. But Badrinath, with 23 centuries from 103 Ranji matches, couldn't make much of an impact for Vidarbha, where he played as a professional from 2014.

With opener Akshath Reddy and B. Sandeep scoring centuries against Goa last week and the bowlers taking 20 wickets, Badrinath has very little to complain. It is a young side with plenty of talent waiting to be groomed.

On the other hand, Haryana has a new young captain in medium pacer Mohit Sharma. The team has a good pace attack.Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal gets into the playing XI as Amit Mishra is away on National duty. With off-spinner Jayant Yadav drafted into the ODI team against New Zealand, Haryana’s spin attack looks suspect on a pitch that is known to favour batsmen.

Among the batsmen, opener Nitin Saini is fresh from scoring a century after his partner Shubham Rohilla missed the three-figure mark by eight runs after being run-out. All-rounder Joginder Sharma – the man who played his part in India’s only World T20 triumph – and former Services’ captain Rajat Paliwal are part of the middle-order.

There are no clear favourites in this match. Both teams are taking baby steps on a path to regain lost glory. With Group C matches and performers seldom catching the attention of the selectors, particularly in the initial phase of the championship, motivation, rather the lack of it, could be a factor.

Given the scenario for the teams, they have everything to play for. These are early days in the season and a long way to go. With two quarterfinal spots in the offing and with it, a place among the elite teams next season, both teams know the importance of this clash.

Teams

Hyderabad: S. Badrinath (captain), Tanmay Agarwal, Akshath Reddy, Vishal Sharma, B. Anirudh, B. P. Sandeep, K. Sumanth, Mehdi Hassan, C. V. Milind, M. Ravi Kiran, Mohammad Siraj, Habeeb Ahmed, Himalay Agarwal, Akash Bhandari, Benjamin Thomas and Mohammad Muddassir.

Haryana: Mohit Sharma (captain), Nitin Saini, Shubham Rohilla, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Himanshu Rana, Rajat Paliwal, Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashok Sandhu, Ashish Hooda, Mohit Hooda, Sanjay Pahal and Virender Dahiya.