The success and failures of Ranji Trophy will be forgotten when India's top domestic players switch from doing duty for their states to representing their Zones in the Duleep Trophy, which commences on Friday.
Amidst questions being raised over the importance of the 50-year-old tournament in a cramped schedule, West Zone will take on East Zone in the quarterfinals here.
West coach Sulakshaan Kulkarni believes the tournament remains important from the players' point of view. "The (national) selectors will be keeping a close eye on the tournament, especially after India's showing in Australia. Players who performs here will have a chance to make it to the national team." Going by the look of the wicket, it seems the BCCI's direction for sporting wickets has been followed.
Pacer Dhawal Kulkarni will be missing from the West squad because of a shin injury. Saurashtra's medium pacer Sandeep Maniar, who picked 24 wickets in the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy, will replace him. If West make it to the semis, Ajinkya Rahane will join the squad after returning from the Oz series.
East will miss batsman Manoj Tiwary, who has flown to Australia for the tri-series. They will be banking on Dheeraj Jadhav - who averaged 176 with five tons in Ranji for Assam - to give their batting stability.