Bengaluru, Oct 17 (PTI) Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi will need to negotiate Jharkhand’s potent bowling attack with guile when the two teams meet in the second semifinal of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday. Also Read - Yuvraj Singh Hilariously Trolls Gautam Gambhir in His Latest Instagram Picture, Says 'Chalo at Least Your Emoji Has Smiled'
Gambhir leads a formidable Delhi unit comprising Unmukt Chand, Nitish Rana and Dhruv Shorey. The captain himself has led from the front, scoring 490 runs in the competition at 61.25 including two hundreds. Also Read - Worse Yet to Come? India Overtakes Spain, Becomes 5th Worst Coronavirus-hit Country in World
He had smashed 104 off 72 balls in the quarterfinal against Haryana after pacer Kulwant Khejroliya claimed six wickets including a hat-trick to set-up the five-wicket victory. Also Read - Waqar Younis' Interesting Suggestion to Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir
Both Delhi and Jharkhand, who have won the tournament once each, are high on confidence going into another knock-out fixture.
Jharkhand’s win against Maharashtra was fashioned by their quality bowling attack, boasting the spin duo of Shahbaz Nadeem and Anukul Roy, and the pace combine of Rahul Shukla and a resurgent Varun Aaron.
Left-arm spinner Nadeem, who has been knocking on the India doors for a while now, is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 22 scalps.
Young Roy, who also bowls left-arm, is not far behind with 14 wickets and was the man-of-the-match in the rain-affected quarterfinal after picking up a match-winning four-wicket haul.
The spinners had made their presence felt after the early damage done by Shukla and injury-prone Aaron, who has so far picked up 16 wickets at 17.87. The way Jharkhand have performed convinced even their mentor M S Dhoni that the side could go all the way without his services.
Just like Delhi captain Gambhir has let his bat do the talking, Jharkhand skipper Ishan Kishan too has made compelling contributions, amassing 405 runs at 50.62, including a hundred and three half centuries.
Kishan was out cheaply against Maharashtra but the experienced Saurabh Tiwary did the job alongside Shasheem Rathour who scored an unbeaten 53 to take his team home in a truncated tie.
But come Thursday, they will be tested against the likes Khejroliya and Navdeep Saini along with young-spinner Lalit Yadav, who has been Delhi’s leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps at 24.38.