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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019: Preview and key players to watch out for | 26th September 2019

Aakash Arya
ANALYST
Preview
25 Sep 2019, 20:44 IST

Last years champion Mumbai
Last years champion Mumbai

Rain interruptions have not let the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019 begin in its entirety to the dismay of many cricket fans. Revised targets, game abandonment and VJD method (Gokul Gurandi system) have been the order of the day. If the rain Gods were to have mercy, the 18th edition of the tournament promises interesting fixtures in days to come. 

Andhra Pradesh Cricket take on Goa on Thursday at Alur in a Group A encounter. A lot is expected from the Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari, who would like to make a strong case for the limited overs format in the Indian team. In the last five meetings between the two teams in the Vijay Hazare trophy, Andhra has had an upper hand with four wins and only one loss. 

Karnataka Cricket look for a repeat performance of yesteryears under Vinay Kumar as they take on Jharkhand in another Group A encounter at Bengaluru. Indian limited overs batsman and Karnataka captain will be eyeing big performances from his side as well as himself to cement his spot in the team. All eyes will be on young wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan as well, as selectors continue to keep an eye on him. Former India bowler Varun Aaron along with Shahbaz Nadeem will form a potent bowling line-up for Jharkhand. In the last three games, Karnataka have won two, one in 2017 and the other in 2014.

With Robin Uthappa as captain, Kerala will be hoping to spring upsets in this year's tournament when they face Saurashtra in a Group A encounter in Bengaluru. Sanju Samson, Sachin Baby are some of the rising stars in the domestic circuit who would like a make a statement for the limited-overs place in the national side and with Uthappa at the helm, they would surely be guided in the right direction. Against them will be Jaydev Unadkat led Saurashtra side, who have talented players like Sheldon Jackson on their side. In their only encounter, Kerala had beaten Saurashtra in the 2018 edition of this tournament.

In Group B, Haryana are scheduled to play Odisha at Vadodra with both sides having won one game each against one another in previous editions. Amit Mishra will again be the go-to bowler for Haryana against the likes of Abhishek Raut.

Indian middle-order batsman, Kedar Jadhav will lead a talented Maharashtra side against Uttar Pradesh in a Group B match at Vadodra. Kedar has been under immense pressure to perform and with the World Cup done and dusted, he will need to perform in order to win-back faith from the likes of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri. Akshdeep Nath and Rinku Singh will be the key performers for the UP side, as both the teams share one win each against each other in the last two years. 

Two-time defending Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha Cricket are all set to meet Punjab in a clash that might prove to be high scoring. The experience of Mandeep Singh at the highest level, playing IPL under Kohli, will prove to be decisive as he leads a talented side that has everything to prove. Shubman Gill’s availability is still unsure, but with Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma at his disposal, Vidharbha can face an uphill task. On the other hand, the not-so-old Wasim Jaffer will captain a motivated Vidharbha team that boasts the likes of Indian bowler Umesh Yadav. But with an India call-up due to an injury to Jasprit Bumrah, Jaffer might not have the luxury of the experienced bowler at his disposal. But time and again, Vidarbha has shown that taking them lightly might be the biggest mistake the opposition can make. Punjab leads two games to one in their last three encounters in Vijay Hazare trophy. 

Also See - Vijay Hazare Trophy Points Table

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