Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has been roped in as captain of Delhi’s 15 member squad for the first three matches of the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy limited overs tournament. The tournament is all set to kick off from September 19. Gambhir, who has been out of the international setup for quite a while now, will be eyeing this tournament as one final opportunity to prove himself ahead of the 2019 World Cup to be held in England and Wales next year.
Gautam Gambhir hasn’t been at the peak of his batting prowess in quite some time and is all set to return to the field leading his team after sacked from the role assigned to him in the same tournament a couple of years back. The southpaw had made himself unavailable for captaincy last year which saw Ishant Sharma taking up the responsibility of the team in the previous season. Delhi had won the first four of their six matches in the previous edition of the tournament, which saw them storming into the quarterfinals before losing to Andhra Pradesh by six wickets to get knocked out.
Delhi are placed in Elite Group B alongside Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Saurashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Chattisgarh and will kickstart their campaign against Saurashtra at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on September 20. 20 year old wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who recently played in the five match test series against England and scored a dazzling century in a losing cause in the final test match at the Oval, is also a part of the squad.
The squad also features 2012 U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand, Nitish Rana and Hiten Dalal in the batting line up. Delhi also have a highly adept bowling line-up led by the hugely experienced Ishant Sharma alongwith the likes of Pradeep Sangwan, Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya. Manan Sharma and Pawan Negi are spin bowling all-rounders in the team.
Gautam Gambhir led Delhi to the Ranji Trophy finals last year. Delhi will be hoping for a similar contribution from the 36 year old this time around. His contributions at the top of the order will be absolutely necessary if Delhi are to fancy their chances of getting anywhere close to winning the tournament.
Gautam Gambhir (C), Dhruv Shorey, Unmukt Chand, Rishabh Pant (wk), Nitish Rana, Himmat Singh, Hiten Dalal, Lalit Yadav, Manan Sharma, Pawan Negi, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Gaurav Kumar, Sinranjeet Singh, Prashnu Vijayran