ONGC lock horns with IT

ONGC lock horns with IT

Cricket: BCCI Corporate Trophy: MRF to take on State Bank of Patiala in other tie

ONGC lock horns with IT

The second-edition of the annual BCCI Corporate Trophy one-day tournament kicks off in Bangalore, Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad simultaneously as 14 corporate teams, divided into four groups, vie for top honours in the eight-day event. Bangalore will be hosting six league matches of Group ‘D’ spread over three days. In the opening day’s matches, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation take on Income Tax at the Chinnaswamy stadium while MRF run into State Bank of Patiala at the RSI ground.

Two of the Bangalore teams, Vijaya Bank and Canara Bank, pulled out of the meet just a few days before the start when the BCCI said they would not be meeting the team’s expenses like in the previous year. State Bank of Mysore is the only Bangalore side in the fray but they would be in action in Visakhapatnam.

Barring Sachin Tendulkar, the entire cream of the Indian players was in action in the first edition which the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Air India (Red) won here beating Air India (Blue) in the final. Coming off a two-month break ahead of a hectic schedule, the tournament had provided an ideal opportunity for the Indian players to shed some of their rustiness then. This time, though, the scenario is totally different. The team is just back after a lengthy tour of Sri Lanka and it remains to be seen as to how many from the national side will be part of the tournament, especially when the team management itself is complaining of excessive cricket.

And even if they turn up, some of the prominent names will not be able to play beyond the league stage as they will be flying to South Africa to play the Sept 10-26 Champions League as part of their respective Indian Premier League sides.

ONGC looks the best in the fray among the Bangalore-based teams, with India opener Gautam Gambhir set to lead the side. The left-hander, returning after recovering from a knee injury, will have the services of his India team-mates Virat Kohli, and pacemen Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel. None of these stars, however, turned up for morning practice with Gambhir scheduled to land only late Tuesday evening. He will also have at his disposal the experienced hands of Mithun Manhas, Gagan Khoda and Ajay Ratra among others.

The Gambhir-led side definitely wears a much more rounded look to it and start overwhelming favourites in their opening-match against Income Tax, largely comprising youngsters whose names don’t ring a bell.

Former India player Sridharan Sriram will spearhead MRF challenge against another young and inexperienced side State Bank of Patiala to be captained by former India wicket-keeper Pankaj Dharmani.

Besides Sriram, the other notable names in the MRF camp are Venugopala Rao and Anirudha Srikkanth and as such the Tamil Nadu outfit shouldn’t have too many problems putting it across their rivals. The rain, which is persistently lashing the city for the last few days, appears a potential dampner though.

Teams (from): Oil and Natural Gas: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Sandeep Sharma, Tanmay Srivastava, Virat Kohli, Sanjay Mahajan, Mithun Manhas, Gagan Khoda, Amit Bhandari, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ajay Ratra (wk), Praveen Gupta, Radhey Shyam Gupta, Suhail Sharma, Sarandeep Singh, Mayank Tehlan, Vikramjit Malik.

Income Tax: Amitabh Velaskar (capt & WK), Bhavin Thakkar, Ameya Shrikhande, Jay Desai, Hiten Shah, Parag Khanapurkar, Luv Ablish, Abhishek Banerjee, Rikkin Chauhan, Amol Ubharande, Rohit Dahiya, Ajinkya Joshi, Basanta Mohanty, Ajitesh Agral, Ankit Sharma.

MRF: Sriram S (Captain), Anirudha Srikanth, Venugopala Rao, Gnaneshwar Rao, Sushil U, Dharma PK, Sunny Gupta, Rituraj Singh, Prashanth Chandran, Kumar P, Thalaivan Sargunam X, Anand PB, Varun Aaron.

State Bank of Patiala: Pankaj Dharmani (captain & wk), Rajeev Sirhindi, Rakesh Rehni, Sanjay Mahajan, Gurpreet Singh, Anoop Kumar, Ravi Inder Singh, Varun Khanna, Siddarth Kaul, Sarabjeet Ladda, Mukesh Sharma, Munesh Bali, Ranjeev Sharma, Tanpreet Singh.
Match hours: 9.00 am to 12.30 pm; 1.15 pm to end of play.

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