Ranji Trophy: Rain threatens Delhi v Jharkhand

Sharp showers greeted the Delhi team when it came for practice at the KCA-St. Xavier’s College stadium here on Friday. With the forecast for more showers in the coming days, the weather will hold the key in the Ranji Trophy tie between Delhi and Jharkhand which will begin here on Saturday.

The Delhi team couldn’t have a full fledged net session due to persistent rain so the day's practice session was restricted to warm up and stretching.

Sharp showers greeted the Delhi team when it came for practice at the KCA-St. Xavier’s College stadium here on Friday. The Delhi team couldn’t have a full fledged net session due to persistent rain so the day's practice session was restricted to warm up and stretching. With the forecast for more showers in the coming days, the weather will hold the key in the Ranji Trophy tie between Delhi and Jharkhand which will begin here on Saturday.

Delhi captain Unmukt Chand was disappointed with the prevailing weather conditions and hoped for uninterrupted match as he said his side was desperate for a win. Delhi, with 11 points from four matches, is lying third in the group behind Jharkhand, which has 16 points from the same number of matches.

Unmukt Chand reflected on the lost opportunity in Delhi’s last match against Odisha where his team failed to close out the match despite enjoying the upper hand. “We should have won against Odisha. We had them on the ropes but the ninth wicket pair resisted and thwarted our chances. We are desperate for a win against Jharkhand. But certain things like weather conditions are not in our hands. I am hoping that there will not be big delays in the next four days,” he said.

The skipper kept a brave front on the apparent loss of original skipper Gautham Gambir and Ishant Sharma, both of whom were called up to the Indian team. “We will miss their experience but we have a very capable side and if we play to our potential we can be unbeatable,” he said.

Delhi’s coach Bhaskar Pillai called for little more consistency from his bowlers whom he said were unable to pick up 20 wickets in a match. He was obviously referring to Delhi’s last tie against Odisha where the team failed to nail the win. But Bhaskar Pillai was pretty happy with the form shown by his batsmen. The coach said Jharkhand was a good side and his team needed to play at its best to beat its rival. Jharkhand without its biggest threat Varun Arun, who is injured, has done exceedingly well so far in its Ranji campaign. It is lying second in the group but Jharkhand, like Delhi, is ruing missed opportunities as it let Vidarbha off the hook and had to settle for a draw. “Disappointed not to win against Vidarbha but it was a good effort from boys. If weather holds good, it will be an interesting match. We know how good Delhi is. I am banking on our bowlers to come good again. I am happy with the way we are playing now. Of course there is scope for improvement,” said Jharkhand captain Saurabh Tiwary.

The teams:

Jharkhand: Saurabh Tiwary (captain), Ishan Kishan, S. P. Gautam, Virat Singh, Ishan Jaggi, Anand Singh, Kaushal Singh, Pratyush Singh, Ajay Yadav, Vikash Singh, Shabhaz Nadee,, Samar Quadri, Sunny Gupta and Ashish Kumar.

Delhi: Unmukt Chand (captain), Vaibhav Rawal, Milind Kumar, Nitish Rana, Manan Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Rishabh Pant, Moht Sharma, Pulit Narang, Varun Sood, Parvinder Awana, Navdeep Saini, Pradeep Sangwan, Pawan Suyal and Vikas Tokas.