2017-18 Ranji Trophy, round 3: Full-strength Mumbai take on a strong Tamil Nadu outfit in a clash of heavyweights
Following an exciting round 2 of the 2017/18 edition of the Ranji Trophy, the third round will continue to play host to a galaxy of stars with the mix of experience and youth bound to bring out some excitement.
While the Group C clash between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu would be billed as the clash of heavyweights, Hyderabad will look to procure a win after two washed out games as they go head to head against a formidable Karnataka line-up in a group A clash in Shimoga.
Jharkhand's group D clash at home could also prove to be exciting against Haryana, who lost their previous encounter to Saurashtra and would look to get back to winning ways while Rajasthan would look to get their first points on board in their group B clash against Kerala, having drawn their first two matches.
Here is an outlook of all the fixtures lined up in the Ranji Trophy's third round which will take place between the 24th and 27th October 2017.
Karnataka, fuelled by the return of stalwarts KL Rahul and Karun Nair will look to take the positives from their previous win and continue their good run as they face Hyderabad, who will be itching to get onto the field with both their previous matches washed out due to incessant rains.
The Suresh Raina-led Uttar Pradesh will look to bounce back from a defeat that they procured at the hands of Railways when they face Maharashtra and both teams will hope the rain gods show mercy this time around, with both their respective matches washed out without a ball being bowled.
Railways, who succumbed to a loss in their second game after a win against UP will look to put up a better show when they face Assam, who will also look to get back to winning ways after their loss to Karnataka in the second round.
List of Fixtures
Assam vs Railways at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati
Karnataka vs Hyderabad at the KSCA Navule Stadium, Shimoga.
Uttar Pradesh vs Maharashtra at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
Jharkhand, a team that boasts some big names, will look for a solid performance led by skipper Saurabh Tiwary against Haryana, who will look to put the past behind and get their campaign back on track after a listless performance against Saurashtra.
Defending champions Gujarat, who started off their campaign with a win against Kerala will look to build on their momentum as they face Jammu and Kashmir who will be coming into the contest at the back of a de-moralising 212-run loss to Saurashtra. Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel will hope for a good performance from seasoned spinner Piyush Chawla while the cynosure of eyes will be on J&K skipper Parvez Rasool to contribute with bat and ball.
The clash between Kerala and Rajasthan could prove to be an exciting one with both the teams comprising of talented youngsters who will be looking to make a mark this season. In addition to this, Rajasthan could be expected to go for the kill having drawn their first two games while Sachin Baby-led Kerala will need to rethink their strategies after their previous loss to Gujarat.
List of Fixtures
Jharkhand vs Haryana at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.
Jammu and Kashmir vs Gujarat at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat.
Kerala vs Rajasthan at the St. Xavier's College Ground, Thiruvananthapuram.
Billed as the clash of two heavyweights, the clash between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu could play host to a lot of action with big names such as Vijay, Ashwin from Tamil Nadu and relatively young but talented names from Mumbai such as Abhishek Nayar and skipper Suryakumar Yadav going head to head in the encounter. Both the teams have played out draws in their previous games and will look to register a win from this massive game.
Odisha was unfortunate to end its previous game with just one point after rains played spoilsport and will hope to get a full game in against hosts Andhra who also played out stalemates in their first two encounters but will be high on confidence after a stellar batting performance against Baroda, led by skipper Hanuma Vihari.
The other clash will see the table-toppers Madhya Pradesh clash with Tripura, who have registered draws from both encounters. Madhya Pradesh will come into the contest with a lot of confidence having beaten Baroda in their opening encounter and then playing out stiff competition from Mumbai while Tripura skipper Manisankar Murasingh will hope his top-order and middle-order combine to torment MP.
List of Fixtures
Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
Andhra vs Odisha at the Dr PVG Raju ACA Sports Complex, Vizianagaram.
Tripura vs Madhya Pradesh at the Maharaj Bir Bikram College Stadium, Agartala.
Although Goa has played out two draws, they will be riding high on confidence with their batting line-up coming good in both games and against an intimidating Punjab bowling attack, they will be tested. On the other hand, Punjab will hope that skipper Yuvraj Singh comes good in this important encounter and gets support from the likes of Manan Vohra and Jiwanjot Singh.
The match could well serve as a contest between the batting powerhouses with both teams in good batting form. Services will bank on opener Navneet Singh to continue his good form against Himachal Pradesh who will enter the contest at the back of two drawn games but will be buoyed by the return of triple centurion Prashant Chopra, who missed the previous game owing to national commitments.
Vidharbha, who comfortably won their previous game against Punjab by massive innings and 117 run margin will hope to climb to the top of the points table with another strong all-round performance when they clash against the Mohammad Kaif-led Chhattisgarh.
List of Fixtures
Goa vs Punjab at the Goa Cricket Association Academy Ground in Porvorim.
Services vs Himachal Pradesh at the Palam A Stadium in Delhi.
Vidarbha vs Chhattisgarh at the Vidarbha Cricket Association in Nagpur.