Irani Trophy 2008-09: Preview
The new season begins in earnest in Baroda when the star studded Rest of India team takes on the Ranji champions Delhi. With the series against Australia looming large, and the selectors more or less making their intentions clear, this match has suddenly gained epic proportions.
With Ganguly losing out and Sachin missing the match due to injury, Rest of India will be worried about their batting which will be heavily dependent on Dravid and Laxman. Mohd. Kaif is sure to play even if the team management decides to play five bowlers with Dhoni at no.6. If they play six batsmen, Badrinath will come into the picture. Wasim Jaffer and Parthiv will be opening unless there are some surprises to come. Kumble will be marshalling the troops with Harbhajan, RP and Zaheer completing the bowling. Munaf might just play if the home town factor is considered.
Inspite of the opposition being almost full strength, Delhi seem to be on equal pegging with Rest of India. Their batting really gives them an edge as Sehwag, Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli will be hard to break down especially since they had a good outing in the Mohd. Nissar Trophy. They are well supported by Manhas, Rajat Bhatia and Shikhar Dhawan. Their pace attack is in good hands with Nehra and Ishant supported by India U19 world cup winner Pradeep Sangwan. Their only concern is a spinner, but the pitch here should suit their bowling.
All in all, it promises to be a gripping affair.