Five of Delhi top quick bowlers (including Ishant Sharma and Navdeep Saini) will be out due to injuries, so the team may be at a disadvantage when they play Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group B opener on Tuesday at Feroz Shah Kotla.
The senior member of the fast bowling unit, Ishant, has strained his side. Saini, who incurred an abdominal strain while playing for India A and the national team in Bangladesh, is currently resting at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Early this month, Mayank Yadav made his debut at the first-class level, but he has since suffered a ruptured hamstring. Heel pain has sidelined Simarjeet Singh, Delhi’s leading wicket taker this season with five scalps. Moreover, last year’s skipper Pradeep Sangwan was cut before the start of this year’s campaign.
Therefore, left-arm quick Kuldip Yadav, not-too-experienced Harshit Rana, and Pranshu Vijayran, the allrounder who made his debut in the previous game, were selected as the fast bowlers for the match against Tamil Nadu.
We don’t have our primary bowlers, which is a problem, but we still want to run the practises,” Delhi coach Abhay Sharma said. “Young people who are given chances should make the most of them.”
Things have gotten even worse since Delhi’s campaign is a mess. They started the season off with a loss to Maharashtra in Pune and ended up drawing with Assam in Guwahati after giving up the first-innings advantage. With only one point from two games, they are currently in last place among Group B’s other seven teams.
Rana, a star player for the Indian Premier League’s Kolkata Knight Riders, was benched this year despite averaging over 40 in the previous two Ranji seasons (2019-20 and 2021-22; the 2020-21 season was cancelled due to Covid-19).
Even though most members of the DDCA are thrilled with the change—they believe Rana is more committed to white-ball cricket—they aren’t satisfied with the selection committee, which is run by Gagan Khoda, because of what they see as their lack of vision.
A senior DDCA official observed, “You had no pre-season camp, no real training session, and fast bowlers were grossly under-cooked.” “Since no preparation or foresight were made, the current situation is entirely predictable. Several of the pacesetters came into the season already physically depleted.”
Tamil Nadu aren’t faring any better this season, as they sit just one spot above Delhi in the table with just three points from two games so doing. Therefore, Delhi will be hoping that Dhruv Shorey (443 runs in four innings, including a 252 not out against Assam) continues to lead the batting charge, and that players like Himmat Singh and captain Yash Dhull step up their performances against Tamil Nadu.