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Injured Delhi up against Baroda

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 00:19 IST
Subhash Rajta

Leading up to Delhi's opener against Baroda, Vijay Dahiya has often asked about Mithun Manhas's fitness.

The coach is still groping for a definitive answer and on the eve of the match, he faces a similar question — this time concerning Chetanya Nanda.

The tall leg-spinner twisted his ankle while bowling in the nets, minutes before Delhi wound up their practice session on Monday.

Grimacing in pain, Nanda had to be helped out. Manhas, on the other hand, is running against time to recover from the injury he sustained in the Champions League.

“Manhas has been shaping up quite well and doing whatever needs to be done. Anyway, we will take the final call on them on Tuesday morning,” Dahiya said.

However, it is learnt that Nanda has been ruled out and Manhas too is unlikely to play. Perhaps, the think-tank wants to give them to recover, which is understandable given how crucial they are to the scheme of things.

Ankur Jhulka and Joginder Singh have been called as cover for Chetanya Nanda and Mithun Manhas.

Baroda too have their share of injuries as Irfan Pathan has opted out after failing to recovery from an injury.

His absence will leave the Baroda pace attack rather thin.

In his absence, inexperienced youngsters Ajitesh Argal and Salim Veragi will shoulder the attack.

It isn't surprising that the wicket at the Motibagh grounds is bereft of grass as the hosts couldn't afford a green top in the absence of Pathan and Munaf Patel.

Paras Mhambrey, the Baroda coach, however, sounded a note of caution.

“It might not have grass, but it won't be a flat wicket. It has good bounce, and given the dew and early morning moisture, it will seam quite a bit,” he said.

Given that it's batting in which Baroda can match and even overshadow Delhi, the wicket should be batsman-oriented.

The hosts have an immensely experienced line-up in skipper Connor Williams, Satyajit Parab and Jacob Martin, and young bats like Azhar Bhilakhia and Rakesh Solanki have shaped up well.

Last but not the least, there's a certain Yusuf Pathan, who's good enough to demolish any attack.

For the visitors, younger batsmen like Mayank Tehlan, Gaurav Chhabra and Yogesh Nagar will need to pull their weight and supplement the efforts of the prominent four — skipper Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Manhas and all-rounder Rajat Bhatia — to outbat Baroda.