A strong South Zone takes on North Zone in the Duleep Trophy semifinal which commences at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday.
Skipper Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal, B. Sai Sudarshan and Tilak Varma form the core of the South Zone batting. Tamil Nadu southpaw Pradosh Ranjan Paul, who has had a great start to his First-Class career, will look to get among the runs.
Washington Sundar, who has played for India in all three formats, is a threat with bat and ball.
On the bowling front, Karnataka’s V. Kaverappa and V. Vyshak are likely to share the new ball. The duo have impressed in the previous domestic season, with Kaverappa in particular shining through with his ability to keep a perfect line and length.
K.V. Sasikanth, who picked up 29 wickets in seven matches for Andhra in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy, is the third pace option.
Left-arm finger-spinner R. Sai Kishore can be a threat when the pitch wears down.
On paper, the side holds no weakness.
“We have a good balanced side. We have quality bowlers and a good mix of youngsters and experienced batters like Mayank (Agarwal) and I. In the Duleep Trophy, you expect every match to be a tight contest,” Vihari stated after a training session here on Tuesday.
North, which took out minnow North East in the quarterfinal held at the same venue a few days ago, faces a stiff challenge. Dhruv Shorey, Nishant Sindhu and big-hitting lower order batter Harshit Rana, centurions from the previous outing, lead the charge.
Offspinner Pulkit Narang took a seven-wicket match-haul against North East, and will play on the patience of the South Zone batters with his nagging accuracy.
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