Delhi didn’t have the best of performances in the recent Ranji Trophy campaigns but as a new season unfolds, the seven-time champions are hopeful of scripting an improved performance.
Delhi have been boosted by the return of Vijay Dahiya as their coach under whom they won the trophy in the 2007-08 season. The team boasts of a star-studded line up for their opening match against Uttar Pradesh, comprising Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, all eager to warm up for the forthcoming home series against England.
Dahiya, who is back with Delhi after a three-year break, is confident of a good team performance this year.
“It is good to be back. Delhi is always home. I am looking forward to a good season. The best thing is that we have the same bunch of players playing for the last three-four years and that has made my job easier,”s aid Dahiya, a former India wicketkeeper and Delhi captain.
He believed the presence of top international players will help the youngsters in the side. Sehwag, who will be leading the side against Uttar Pradesh, joined the squad on Monday for the practice session.
“It is a good thing to have international players for our opening Ranji match. It will be a great experience for the youngsters to rub shoulders with top India players,” said Dahiya back from a stint as Kolkata Knight Riders’ assistant coach.
“Someone like Kohli has graduated through the same ranks and this is very important for a youngster like Unmukt Chand to understand the importance of first-class cricket. It is all about getting the confidence.”
Delhi’s bowling have always been their strength. With the presence of experienced left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma, Parwinder Awana and Pradeep Sangwan, Dahiya is spoilt for choices and is looking to rotate his bowlers. He was also full of praise for young seamer Vikash Tokas and off-spinner Manoj Chauhan.
Dahiya, however, is yet to finalise is final team for the opener and will take a final decision after seeing the pitch at Ghaziabad.
“Ranji Trophy has become very competitive and unpredictable in the last 5-6 years. We can’t afford to take UP lightly. They have some fantastic performances to their credit. They have also been one of the very consistent teams on the domestic front. It will be a tough match,” he said.
Dahiya, however, is clear about having green tops for home matches. “We need pitches that can help our bowlers. A gree top will suit us,” he said.