Vijay Hazare Trophy: Dhoni’s Jharkhand faces Vidarbha in quarters

After having qualified behind Karnataka, pipping Hyderabad on better net run rate, the Jharkhand team will attempt to capitalise on its chance to progress to the semifinals.

M.S. Dhoni is expected to pull the crowds for the Jharkhand’s Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal clash against Vidarbha at Palam.   -  PTI

Every time he walks to bat, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expected to win the match at whatever level he plays. It will be no exception when he leads the gutsy Jharkhand against Group A topper Vidarbha in a quarterfinal match of the Vijay Hazare one-day cricket tournament at the Palam ground on Wednesday.

After having qualified behind Karnataka, pipping Hyderabad on better net run rate, the Jharkhand team will attempt to capitalise on its chance to progress further.

Of course, Karnataka has already bowed out to Baroda, the second placed team from group-A, which may be some indication to the quality of cricket in each group, played at different venues in the league phase.

Going by the manner in which Tamil Nadu played the Ranji trophy champion Gujarat at Palam on Sunday, it should be lively cricket with the persevering batsmen and bowlers being rewarded for their ability and accuracy.

The strong winds play a significant role in deciding the course of the match and should the batsmen ignore it, they will pay the price like Gujarat did against Tamil Nadu.

Saurabh Tiwary and Shahbaz Nadeem have done very well with the bat and ball to garner 303 runs and 14 wickets respectively for Jharkhand in the league phase. Of course, Dhoni himself has been in striking form with 242 runs. Rahul Shukla and Varun Aaron have also done well to share 23 wickets between them.

Wicket-keeper batsman Jitesh Sharma and Akshay Karnewar have been leading the statistics for Vidarbha with 291 runs and 15 wickets respectively in the league stage. Ganesh Satish has also been amongst the runs with 259.

The challenge for the batsmen may be the constant flypast of the aeroplanes, landing and taking-off from the adjacent airport almost every fourth minute. The flights literally skim over the sight-screen at one end.

Should the fans, driven by the presence of Dhoni, manage to enter and enjoy the cricket in a superb natural setting, they may be shocked to see the “public toilet”, in “an obscene state of dilapidation”, without so much as basic water supply.

Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (captain), Ganesh Satish, Akshay Karnewar, Rushabh Rathod, Jitesh Sharma, Yash Thakur, Akshay Wakhare, Siddesh Wath, Abhishek Chaurasia, Rajneesh Gurbani, Akshay Kolhar, Ambati Rayudu, Ravikumar Thakur, Shrikant Wagh, Apoorv Wankhade.

Jharkhand: MS Dhoni (captain), Anand Singh, Ishan Kishan, Jaskaran Singh, Monu Tomar, Pratyush Singh, Anukul Roy, Sonu Singh, Vikash Singh, Varun Aaron, Kumar Deobrat, Ishank Jaggi, Kaushal Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shasheem Rathour, Rahul Shukla, Saurabh Tiwary, Virat Singh.