It is not just the Indian Premier League that is blamed for causing upheavals in the international and domestic first-class schedules of nations. The Champions League T20, despite being provided a window by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it appears is not far behind.
With CLT20 kicking off in South Africa, both South Zone and the East Zone were depleted as they geared up for their Duleep Trophy semifinal starting in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. And Tamil Nadu and South opener Murali Vijay - away doing duty for Chennai Super Kings - is one man who is in great form and could have made a stronger case for a Test recall with Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag struggling.
BIG CHANCEWhile Vijay will be wearing the yellow of Chennai Super Kings, and even if he exceeds in the Rainbow nation, the difference between the formats will be hard to ignore. It has been ten innings since Gambhir managed a half-century in any format, and fourteen since Sehwag got past the fifty-run mark. With just one failure in four innings, Vijay's start to the season has been awesome with a double-century, century and ninety in the other three knocks. With the Test series against England fast approaching, Vijay could have provided the selectors an option.
Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan is coming off a century in the quarterfinal and high run-scoring form. Another strong performance for the North Zone skipper against Central in the other semifinal in Hyderabad could leave Vijay behind in the race.
With others like Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (both East) and Laxmipathi Balaji and Ravichandran Ashwin (both South) also playing in the CLT20, the attention will be on two pacers, South's Vinay Kumar and East's Ashok Dinda.
Both have been fighting to cement a place in the national team. While Kumar has 12 wickets in 7 ODIs this year, Dinda has 6 in 5. While Dinda was a part of the World T20 campaign in Sri Lanka, a hamstring injury had ruled out South skipper Kumar for the Sri Lanka tour back in June. Since then, his replacement Irfan Pathan has come up with impressive spells to keep the Karnataka pacer out.