Unbeaten India B look to tame India C

Unbeaten India B look to tame India C

India B off-spinner K Gowtham will look to continue his good form in the Deodhar Trophy final against India C. DH File Photo

The presence of big stars had raised the stakes in Deodhar Trophy, but it was the youngsters who managed to dazzle on this stage. The final of the prestigious event -- between India B and India C -- would once again bring together this mix of talent, where the fringe players would be eager to impress, and the seasoned cricketers desperate to regain their old touch.

Ajinkya Rahane, the captain of India C, has struggled to get the runs on board in the tournament. For Rahane, who has been going through a prolonged lean patch in the 50-over format, the final would offer another opportunity for him to return to runs. Suresh Raina is another of the old warhorse in the side, seeking to prove his relevance in the shorter format, but so far has not done justice to his reputation.

India C, however, have been uplifted by the performances of 19-year-old Shubman Gill, who stroked the only century of the tournament on Wednesday, wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. Among their bowlers, medium-pacer Rajneesh Gurbani and Vijay Shankar have been effective, besides left-arm spinner Pappu Roy who had troubled the India B batsmen.

Hanuma Vihari has emerged as the backbone of India B batting, digging his heels in tough batting conditions, and pulling his team out of the choppy waters. With 163 runs in two matches, he is the highest run-getter of the contest. Mayank Agarwal has had good starts, but has not been able to covert them in to big numbers. Final is just the stage for him to bring into play his irrepressible form, which has stood him out from the rest in the last one year.

Big knocks are also awaited from captain Shreyas Iyer, who has led India B to two wins in two matches. Off-spinner K Gowtham has impressed with his performance, and so has left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem who left the batsmen choking in his miserly spell.

The contest between India B and India C promises to be the riveting one with the best on the domestic circuit going all out to stake claims for bigger events.