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Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan and Amit Mishra set to play in Ranji Trophy

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Delhi openers and Haryana leg-spinner will audition for places ahead of third Test

Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir failed to impress during the first Test against England in Rajkot (Image Courtesy: BCCI)

In what should add star value to the Ranji Trophy, the trio of Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan and Amit Mishra will turn out for their respective sides during the next round of four-day matches. While Dhawan is not a part of the Indian squad for the ongoing five-match series against England, Gambhir and Mishra have been released from the squad to participate in the country’s premier domestic tournament.

Dhawan and Gambhir will open the proceedings for a Delhi team which is desperately seeking points to move up the ladder. The left-handers face up against Rajasthan in a critical Group B clash beginning on Monday at the Krishnagiri Stadium in Wayanad.

The seasoned Pankaj Singh leads Rajasthan who are currently placed at sixth in the table. Interestingly, former Delhi all rounder Rajat Bhatia is also part of their side and will take on his former state mates.

Delighted to have the services of nationally capped openers, Delhi chief coach KP Bhaskar quipped, “Gambhir and Dhawan will be opening the innings while Unmukt (Chand) will be batting at number 3. This is a do-or-die match for us. We need at least two outright wins from our next three matches if we have to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out phase. I am keeping my fingers crossed.”

When asked about their seemingly inadequate spin attack, he felt, “Varun (Sood) and Manan (Sharma) are the best we have. We have an off-spinner Pulkit Narang that we have kept in the 13 for the match. But, he is still very inexperienced. Out of the squad of 15, we have kept Sarthak Ranjan and Dhruv Shorey out.“

Mishra fighting to reclaim his Test spot

Following a below par showing in the first Test against England, leg-spinner Amit Mishra will be eyeing a strong showing for Haryana when they take the field against Goa at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Ghaziabad from Monday.

On a flat surface at Rajkot, the 33-year old toiled away without any significant reward. With question marks surrounding his fitness and consequent slow speeds, the wrist-spinner was replaced by debutant Jayant Yadav for the second Test in Vizag.

Alongside his handy off-spin, the right-hander demonstrated considerable prowess in the batting department as well. Hence, Mishra would want to make an impact in the Ranji Trophy match to catch the attention ahead of the third Test in Mohali which is scheduled to begin on Saturday.



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