Ranji Trophy: Tiwary to lead as Bengal faces Delhi with crucial points up for grabs

With regular captain Abhimanyu Easwaran on India-A duty, senior batsman Manoj Tiwary will lead Bengal with crucial points up for grabs against Delhi.

Manoj Tiwary

Fresh from his maiden triple century, Manoj Tiwary will lead Bengal against Delhi in the seventh round of Ranji Trophy.   -  PTI

Manoj Tiwary is back as the captain as Bengal is all set to meet a gritty Delhi in an important Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.

Last January, under Tiwary’s captaincy, Bengal had rode on opener Abhimanyu Easwaran’s unbeaten 183 to chase down 322.

A year later, Bengal will miss captain Abhimanyu, who is on India A duty, but will be led by the experienced Tiwary against the same opponent.

Bengal’s morale will be high as it is placed third in the combined table of Groups A and B with 19 points from five outings. Delhi is eighth on 16 points from five matches.

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Gaining maximum points will be the priority for both as they look to strengthen their positions for the knockout stage.

For Tiwary, the challenge will be to guide a new-look pace attack in the absence of Ishan Porel, who is part of India ‘A’ side, on a green-top track. The experienced Mukesh Kumar, the promising Akash Deep, Ayan Bhattacharya and Nilakanta Das, who is likely to make his debut, should form the pace quartet.

Tiwary, who is high on confidence after scoring his maiden triple hundred in the massive win over Hyderabad, will be the most notable Bengal batsman.

Delhi's pace department is in tatters. Ishant Sharma is injured, Navdeep Saini is serving India in New Zealand, and Pradeep Sangwan, who returned after a long layoff, has hurt himself.

Kulwant Khejroliya is back in action after a four-month layoff. Another left-armer Pawan Suyal and young Simarjeet Singh may serve as the other speedsters.

Kolkata Knight Riders player Nitish Rana, who scored a hundred in the previous round, will be Delhi's batting mainstay.

Delhi is upbeat following its superb win over Vidarbha in the last match.

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