The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 kicks off with a clash between two heavyweights as Tamil Nadu takes on Punjab in the First Round on Saturday.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy champion Tamil Nadu are back in the mix as they eye another white-ball trophy. They possess a strong unit with unrivalled depth and balance. Led by Dinesh Karthik, Tamil Nadu will aim to start their season on the right note, although they have their hands full against Punjab.
Speaking of Punjab, the Mandeep Singh-led side did well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, although they couldn't go the distance. Like their opponents, Punjab also has a good mix of youth and experience, with Anmolpreet Singh being one to watch out for in this tournament. With a quality bowling attack comprising of pace trio Arshdeep Singh, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma, Punjab will fancy their chances heading into this fixture.
Although both teams look evenly matched on paper, Tamil Nadu are slight favourites given their superior depth in either department. Adding in the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Hari Nishanth, both of whom won bids in the recently-concluded IPL Auction 2021, Tamil Nadu might be the team to beat in this year's Vijay Hazare Trophy.
All in all, an entertaining start to the tournament beckons, with either side looking to reinstate their credentials on Saturday.
Squads to choose from
Dinesh Karthik (c), B Aparajith, B Indrajith, KB Arun Karthick, C Hari Nishaanth, M Shahrukh Khan, N Jagadeesan, L Suryapprakash, M Kaushik Gandhi, J Kousik, M Ashwin, R Sai Kishore, M Siddharth, R Sonu Yadav, K Vignesh, A Aswin Crist, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, G Periyasamy and M Mohammed.
Mandeep Singh (c), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Abhishek Sharma, Anmolpreet Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Harpreet Brar, Karan Kaila, Siddarth Kaul, Gitansh Khera, Anmol Malhotra, Mayank Markande, Rohan Marwaha, Simran Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Sanvir Singh, Barinder Sran
Predicted Playing 11
Hari Nishanth, N Jagadeesan, Arun Karthik, Baba Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Shahrukh Khan, M Mohammed, Murugan Ashwin, K Vignesh and R Sai Kishore
Simran Singh (WK), Abhishek Sharma, Mandeep Singh (C), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Anmolpreet Singh, Karan Kaila, Harpreet Brar, Mayank Markande, Sandeep Sharma, Arshdeep Singh, Siddharth Kaul.
Match: Tamil Nadu vs Punjab, Round 1, Group B
Date: 20th February 2021, at 9:00 AM IST
Venue: Emerald High School, Indore
The Emerald High School pitch should be a good one to bat on, with some help on offer for the bowlers. While the batsmen will need to be on their toes against the new ball, they should find it easy once they get their eye in. The spinners will come into play as the match progresses, with the middle being crucial to either side's fortunes. Both teams will want to bat first, although the pitch shouldn't change much during the game. 250 should be par with wickets in hand being key at this venue.
TN vs PUN Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Dinesh Karthik, N Jagadeesan, Shahrukh Khan, Anmolpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Baba Aparajith, R Sai Kishore, K Vignesh, Sandeep Sharma and Arshdeep Singh
Captain: Baba Aparajith, Vice-Captain: Anmolpreet Singh
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Dinesh Karthik, N Jagadeesan, Arun Karthik, Anmolpreet Singh, Prabhsimran Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Baba Aparajith, R Sai Kishore, K Vignesh, Sandeep Sharma and Mayank Markande
Captain: Anmolpreet Singh, Vice-Captain: Dinesh Karthik