Six of the Sri Lanka-bound India cricketers will be in action in the first semifinal of the BCCI Corporate Trophy between ONGC and Air India (Red) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.
ONGC captain Gautam Gambhir and teammates Amit Mishra, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma will be keen to go flat out against Air India’s Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina for a place in Tuesday’s final.
Gambhir (54), Raina (92 not out) and Yuvraj (39) have found form with the bat while Mishra, Ishant and Praveen went for more runs than to their liking in ONGC’s only match against MRF at Visakhapatnam.
Air India can expect some fiery stuff from the star-packed ONGC bowling line-up, which also has Munaf Patel. The batsmen will also be tested by the short ball, which has been India’s problem in recent times.
“I got out to that ball in the World T20. I won’t say I have perfected the short ball now but have been working on it with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar,” said Raina.
Apart from the India players, Air India will need players like Naman Ojha, who played a crucial role in the side’s win over India Cements.
Though the attack pales in comparison to ONGC’s, Air India’s 17-year-old left-arm seamer Saurabh Netravalkar has caught the eye with five wickets in two games.
Gagan Khoda, ONGC’s sole centurion, will sit out with a torn ligament and will be replaced by Tanmay Srivastava.