Delhi, Mumbai toss aside excuse ahead of semifinal
After the lop-sided contests in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Ferozshah Kotla so far, attributed to the toss, both Delhi and Mumbai skippers played down that factor ahead of their semi-final on Saturday.
In the earlier games, the side winning the toss opted to field and had an upper hand in the game. "The toss factor has been talked about a lot but many forget there are two new balls used now which also make batting a little difficult in the morning," said Delhi skipper Rajat Bhatia.
Bhatia's counterpart Ajit Agarkar echoed the view. “Winning the toss is important but ultimately you have to bowl and bat well to win.” As far as the hosts are concerned, their premier fast bowler, Ashish Nehra, who missed the last game due to a hamstring strain, bowled in the nets.
However, Mumbai have an injury concern after their in-form middle-order batsman Surya Kumar Yadav sprained his ankle during practice on Friday.
Both teams would miss one big batsman, who played in the quarterfinals. Delhi's Gautam Gambhir and Mumbai's Rohit Sharma have left to take part in the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Although Mumbai's line-up appears superior, it is the hosts who have won all their games so far while Mumbai lost a league game.
In the second semi-final, Bengal will have to overcome the absence of key bowler Ashok Dinda and batsman Manoj Tiwary - both away for the Asia Cup - and skipper Sourav Ganguly's poor run with the bat when they face the Harbhajan Singh-led Punjab at Palam ground.
Harbhajan has shown glimpses of his bowling rhythm and has inspired fighting displays by his team so far. Bengal's hopes thus will heavily depend on their wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.