The final league game of the season, two heavyweight teams with a rich history from either end of the country, and to be telecast live on tv.
It would have been the perfect setting to see which team comes out on top over four days and either consolidate their position going into the knockouts or even fight for a place in the final eight.
An otherwise top billing encounter between Tamil Nadu and Delhi has been reduced to a match in which both teams will play for pride at best. Placed 12th and 13th on the combined table of Groups A & B, Delhi and TN are separated by only one point with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Both teams come into the game on the back of defeats, TN against Himachal, and Delhi against Bengal though the home team had a break during the last round of matches and should be relatively fresh.
It is the second year in succession TN has failed to make the knockouts of the Ranji Trophy and the team will have four fresh faces available for selection in Pradosh Ranjan Paul, S. Mohan Prasath, S. Lokeshwar and S. Radhakrishnan. Out of the four, Pradosh and left-arm spinner, Mohan Prasath seems to have the best chance of making it to the XI.
TN skipper B. Indrajith pointed out that it was the batting that has let the team down this season especially in the last two games where it was on the backfoot after failing to put decent totals in the first innings.
“This is the right time to bring in youngsters because earlier it was difficult as we had a chance to qualify. This game we don't have anything to play for except pride,” Indrajith said.
Speaking about the season, Delhi’s Dhruv Shorey said, “There were one or two bad days in batting and one or two bad days in bowling. We are a little inexperienced and it is a team in transition. So you do make a few mistakes and those mistakes cost us.”
The wicket is expected to be similar to the one used for the TN - Kerala match - which the home team won - with assistance for spinners.
Squad: Tamil Nadu: B Indrajith (captain), Abhinav Mukund, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, B Aparajith, S. Lokeshwar, N Jagadeesan, Vijay Shankar, J Kousik, M Shahrukh Khan, S. Mohan Prasath, R Sai Kishore, M Mohammed, K Vignesh, T Natarajan, S. Radhakrishnan
Delhi: Nitish Rana (captain), Anuj Rawat, Navdeep Saini, Kunal Chadela, Shivam Sharma, Vikash Mishra, Dhruv Shorey, Shivank Vashisth, Hiten Dalal, Lalit Yadav, Kulwant Khejroliya, Himmat Singh, Jonty Sidhu, Subodh Bhati, Akash Sudan