New Delhi. After learning a tough lesson from Hardik Pandya’s mysterious injury, the national selectors will keep a close watch on the fast bowling all-rounders during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, starting Thursday. Even during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, franchises can invest large sums of money on fast bowling all-rounders. Hardik is no longer the same all-rounder as his back pain is troubling him continuously.
There has been a lot of discussion about Hardik’s bowling in the current T20 World Cup. He was selected as an all-rounder in the Indian team, but did not bowl against Pakistan and bowled only two overs against New Zealand in which he conceded 17 runs. He had not bowled in the IPL before this. So the selectors can no longer depend only on Hardik and will have to look at possible alternatives. Thus, the Mushtaq Ali Trophy will provide a good platform for Vijay Shankar (Tamil Nadu), Shivam Dubey (Mumbai) and Venkatesh Iyer (Madhya Pradesh) to impress the selectors.
Even Chirag Jani, 31, from Saurashtra can be a good choice. His performance will also be watched by the selectors. The selection committee will also monitor the performance of all-rounders who have bowled spin in the national T20 tournament as there are currently top five pure batsmen in the national team. This will keep the focus of the selectors on Krunal Pandya’s performance. In such a situation, if Prithvi Shaw is seen bowling off spin, then no one should be surprised. Apart from this, all the players will try to strengthen their claim in the next year’s IPL auction by giving a good performance.
Very talented Maharashtra captain Ruturaj Gaikwad, Karnataka’s Devdutt Padakkal and Ravikumar Samarth and Tamil Nadu’s N Jagadeesan, C Hari Nishant will try to score big. Not only this, senior players like Wriddhiman Saha and Ajinkya Rahane will also be committed to strengthen their claim. In this championship, this time the teams are divided into five elite groups and one plate group. Due to the Kovid-19 epidemic, the tournament will be played in Bio-Bubble for the second consecutive year.
The groups and teams are as follows:
Elite Group A: Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Goa and Pondicherry (Location – Lucknow)
Elite Group B – Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Mumbai, Baroda and Army (Location – Guwahati)
Elite Group C – Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Himachal, Rajasthan, Haryana and Andhra (Location – Baroda)
Elite Group D – Railways, Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Bihar (Location – Delhi)
Elite Group E – Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Uttarakhand, Saurashtra, Delhi and Chandigarh (Location – Haryana)
plate group – Tripura, Vidarbha, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram (place – Vijayawada).
(Note: Knockout matches will be played in Delhi.