Kohli will lead Delhi in the absence of Aakash Chopra against Saurashtra in what would be a crucial match for the hosts. It will be baptism with fire for the young skipper as many of the first choice players are unavailable due to injury and other reasons.
Injured and depleted
The onus will be on Ankur Julka, Abhishek Kapoor and Vikas Mishra, who have been awarded a place in the squad for their good performances in the age group matches. They will be replacing Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Yogesh Nagar and Chetanya Nanda.
It will, however, take a huge effort from the newcomers to rise to the occasion. Delhi have just four points from three games, and a failure to get their act together this time would mean inching closer to relegation. Another worry for the hosts is the question mark over Ashish Nehra. Though named in the squad, Nehra didn’t turn up for practice on Monday.
“He was there for practice on Sunday and will come for the match,” said coach Dahiya.
While the pace department looks quite robust, Delhi are struggling to find a replacement for injured leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda, out for the season due to surgery on his elbow. “I will return only for the one-day games,” said Nanda.
Saurashtra, on the other hand, present a well-balanced look. While Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravinder Jadeja, Jaydev Shah and Shitanshu Kotak form a solid batting line-up, medium pacers Jayesh Odedra, Kamlesh Makwana and Sandeep Jobanputra can be expected to have a say at the Roshanara ground. “Delhi are a very good side and we are not taking them lightly. I feel it’s going to be an exciting contest, and the team playing well right through will win,” said skipper Jaydev Shah.
Squads: Delhi: V Kohli (capt), M Manhas, R Bhatia, A Nehra, P Awana, A Jain, M.Tehlan, P Bisht, G Chabra, S Narwal, P Sangwan, A Julka, A Kapoor, P Suyal, V Mishra. Saurashtra: J Shah (capt), R Jadeja, B Jadeja, B Chauhan, R Dhurv, S Jackson, S Jobanputra, S Jogiyani, V Joshi, S Kotak, K Makvana, S Maniar, P Mehta, J Odedra, C Pathak, CPujara, S Qureshi.