Ravindra Jadeja in focus as Saurashtra face Karnataka in Vijay Hazare Trophy final
Ravindra Jadeja’s Saurashtra would be wary of Mayank Agarwal’s form for Karnataka in Vijay Hazare Trophycricket Updated: Feb 26, 2018 22:27 IST
It will be an uphill battle for Saurashtra when they face mighty Karnataka in the national one-day championship final for the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Tuesday. Karnataka have been in serious form in the tournament, coming into the final on the back of massive victories --- a nine-wicket win against Maharashtra in the semi-final and a 103-run win against Delhi in the quarter-final.
Saurashtra have not been as dominating but Dharmendrasinh Jadeja’s wily left-arm spin has allowed them to remain on top of their game. Jadeja has 16 scalps to his name and is the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament. Biggest threat however to Saurashtra’s dreams is Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal’s form.
Already aggregating more than 2000 runs in this domestic season, Agarwal has been in runaway form in this tournament with 633 runs. To highlight the difference between him and the rest, the next highest scorer in the tournament is Andhra’s Srikar Bharat who has 390 runs to his name.
On paper, Karnataka look slightly ahead with the likes of Karun Nair and Stuart Binny adding solidity to the middle order apart from the experienced CM Gautam. But Saurashtra too have a very experienced middle-order, comprising Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Arpit Vasavada who top-scored with 58 in the semi-final against Andhra that Saurashtra won by 59 runs.
Focus however will be on Ravindra Jadeja who has been out of favour in the limited-overs international team for some time now. One of the fittest fielders around, Jadeja hasn’t quite set the stage on fire in the one-day championship, scoring 212 runs but remaining wicketless in 32 overs. With the selectors yet again overlooking him for the T20 triseries in Sri Lanka, onus is on Jadeja to keep him in the fray with a match-winning performance.