Ranji Trophy: Andhra braces to face mighty Vidarbha

Hanuma Vihari-led Andhra begins its campaign with a home game against the defending champion.

File Photo: Hanuma Vihari says his team would look to exploit the favourable home conditions.   -  S. Sudershan

Andhra takes on two-time champion Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy season opener at Dr. Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju ACA Cricket Complex here from Monday.

With India cricketer Hanuma Vihari expected to lead from the front, the host would be keen for a decent start to the campaign against a side which has mastered the art of winning major domestic titles through collective brilliance.

Vihari said it would be important to start the season on a winning note by exploiting the favourable home conditions.

Read | Ranji Trophy: Transfers, format, trivia and all you need to know

For the record, the two teams clashed for the first time in 2010-11 season at Nagpur when the match ended in a draw with Vidarbha content to take the first-innings lead. On the next occasion, it was Andhra’s turn to take the first-innings lead at Kadapa in 2011-12.

Vidarbha possesses the likes of Faiz Fazal, Ganesh Satish, Wasim Jaffer, Akshay Karnewar who can have a huge impact on the game on its day.

The teams (from)
  • Andhra: G. Hanuma Vihari (c), K. S. Bharat (wk), Ricky Bhui, D. B. Prashanth Kumar, C. R. Gyaneshwar, Jyothi Sai Krishna, K. Karan Shinde, B. Sumanth, P. Girinath Reddy, B. Ayyappa, K. V. Sashikanth, Ch. Stephen, P. Vijay Kumar, Y. Pruthvi Raj, G. Manish and D. Naren Reddy. Head coach: G. Jaya Kumar. Assistant coach: M. N. Vikram Varma.
  • Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (c), Ganesh Satish, Wasim Jaffer, Aditya Sarvate, Mohit Kale, Jitesh Sharma, Akshay Kolhar, R. Sanjay, Rajneesh Gurubani, Yash Thakur, Akshay Wadkar, Suniket Bingear and Akshay Karnewar. Head coach: Chandrakant Pandit.