Gujarat look to double their joy

Cricket Irani Cup : Parthiv's men face tough RoI

Gujarat look to double their joy

A keen battle awaits the fans when newly crowned Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat clash with the Rest of India in the five-day Irani Cup match, to be played at the Brabourne Stadium here from Friday.

The match, with five more home Test matches coming up, will serve as another platform for the fringe and performing players from both the teams to catch the selectors’ attention.

There may not be many vacancies currently in the high-flying Indian Test team, but a top drawer show in an important match like the Irani will certainly go a long way in enhancing the particular player’s chances in the near future.

After leading Gujarat to their maiden Ranji Trophy title with the bat and his glovework, Parthiv Patel has a great chance to score brownie points against Wridhiman Saha of the Rest whom he had replaced, when the latter got injured, in the Indian Test team against England.

Parthiv did not see it as a mini-battle between himself and the Bengal stumper.
“It’s a game between Gujarat and the Rest and not between two players. We all know he’s very talented, but it’s a game between two teams not individual players,” Parthiv said.

The game also offers a fine springboard for players like Abhinav Mukund, who guided Tamil Nadu into the Ranji Trophy semifinals, to show his worth as an opener alongwith Mumbai’s Akhil Herwadkar and Gujarat opener Priyank Panchal, who has scored over 1,300 runs in 10 games this first-class season, embellished with a triple and a double hundred.

The Rest, captained by the prolific Cheteshwar Pujara, appear strong on paper with the presence of Karun Nair, who scored a triple hundred in a winning cause against England in the fifth and final Test at Chennai, shoring up the middle order with the experienced Manoj Tiwary and Saha.

The Rest have included 22-year-old Hyderabad pace bowler Mohd Siraj in the team in place of Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur, who has complained of ankle pain and dropped out.

Senior pacer Pankaj Singh, Siddharth Kaul, Siraj and K Vignesh are the new ball options while chinaman exponent Kuldeep Yadav and left arm orthodox slow Shahbaz Nadeem are spin options.

Parthiv saw the game as a good platform for his team’s players to show their worth again after their glorious Ranji season.

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