The absence of big names from both the teams notwithstanding, West Zone would enjoy a slight edge over North Zone in their four-day quarterfinal match of the Duleep Trophy cricket tournament starting here on Saturday.
North Zone’s initial 15-member squad comprised stars in the form of Virender Sehwag, who was named the captain, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh. But all of them will the game for varied reasons.
Going by the history of the tournament, North and West Zone have been the most successful teams with 17 wins each, one shared by North and three by the West.
No big guns
In the absence of big guns, North’s batting will revolve around skipper Shikhar Dhawan. But with the likes of Ishant Sharma, Parwinder Awana, Harshal Patel and Vikas Mishra up its rank, North boasts of a formidable bowling attack.
On the other hand, West, captained by Cheteshwar Pujara, is better served in batting department and also has a decent bowling attack.
West would rely on Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Kaustubh Pawar, Bhushan Chavan, Ankit Bawne and wicket-keeper Smit Patel to deliver the goods in the batting department.
Parthiv Patel’s inclusion in the team as the 16th member would also help. But on the bowling vices of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and spin duo of Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja.
Going into the match, West Zone coach Sulakshan Kulkarni was confident of his wards good showing. “We have a good team and our players are in good nick. Most of the players have figured in the Salve Trophy in Rajkot. So, I have high hopes from them,” he said.