Champs face a mighty task against underdogs | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Champs face a mighty task against underdogs

cricket Updated: Jan 09, 2012 23:37 IST
Shalabh Manocha
Shalabh Manocha
Hindustan Times
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Although they are the defending champions, Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar knows the between last year's surprise winners and hosts Haryana will be somewhat overshadowed by the high-profile clash in the other semifinal of the Ranji Trophy between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu.

However, that will also make the clash starting in Lahli, near Rohtak, on Tuesday even more exciting. "The match against Haryana will be interesting as both the sides are not often seen in the knock out stages," the seasoned batsman said.

Rajasthan know the hosts have the arsenal to surprise any team, especially after they upstaged Karnataka on their home turf in the quarters.

The encounter at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli, near Rohtak town, will only be the second Ranji clash between the two sides. In the only previous meeting in 2004-05, Haryana took the honours in the league game.

Rajasthan have bounced back a shaky start this season though Haryana captain Amit Mishra feels the visitors will be under more pressure. "They are the defending champions and are playing in alien conditions whereas we have played so many games here. We are the underdogs."

The pitch has a thick patch of green at both ends but it is thicker at one end. Being peak winter and it being an open ground, there will be help for pacers, especially in the morning. Keeping this in mind Rajasthan are likely to drop Leggie Vivek Yadav and bring in medium pacer Rituraj Singh. who had a fifer against Orissa.

The hosts are likely to retain the eleven that beat Karnataka.

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