South target repeat show against Central

 After notching up a massive win over West Zone last week, South Zone will look for an encore when they clash with last year’s finalists, Central Zone, in the second semifinal of the Duleep Trophy here on Thursday.

The four-day tie promises to be an intriguing contest involving two skippers -- Abhinav Mukund and Piyush Chawla -- who make a terrific study in contrast.

For Abhinav Mukund, captain of South, it is a familiar territory and his team will look to progress to the final by writing a familiar script as they did against West Zone at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Central team has decided to go in with three seamers and specialist spinner, Piyush Chawla. They will also have the additional strength of the experienced Mohammed Kaif.

After their strenuous practice session, team coach Trevor Gonsalves said: “We have not decided the playing eleven but we will go in to the match with three medium pacers and Kaif joining the team, which was confirmed to me this morning, adds to the strength of our squad.”

Piyush said his team is primed to do well irrespective of whether they bat or bowl first on this wicket.

“It looks like, wicket will turn on the second day evening and we hope to get a good total on board if we bat first as we have really a good bowling attack.

“Besides me, Jalaj Saxena has also been in good nick besides Umesh Yadav. Ankit Rajpoot is playing in his second season now and he is primed to do well in this match,” he said.

North play East

Fresh from his exploits that helped Mumbai Indians clinch the Champions League Twenty20, Harbhajan Singh is confident of carrying his good form into the longer format as he leads North Zone against defending champions East Zone in Duleep Trophy semifinal, starting in Kochi on Thursday.

“Obviously, you need to make some adjustments as you switch formats. It’s nothing different for me. My performance in the CLT20 has been a confidence booster and I would like to continue my good work with the ball,” Harbhajan said.

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