Yash Dhull removed as Delhi captain | Crickit
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Yash Dhull removed as Delhi captain

By, New Delhi
Jan 09, 2024 07:24 AM IST

The victorious India U-19 team skipper has been relieved of the responsibility to focus on his batting

Yash Dhull has been removed as Delhi Ranji Trophy team captain after their shock nine-wicket loss to Pondicherry in the opening game of the 2023/24 tournament here on Monday. The 21-year-old, who led India to victory in the U-19 World Cup in the Caribbean two years ago, scored 2 and 23 in the Group D fixture at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Yash Dhull in action.(Twitter/MishiAmit)
Yash Dhull in action.(Twitter/MishiAmit)

It’s now been decided that the youngster needs to focus on his batting. Dhull went through a tough spell in the 2022/23 Ranji season too, contributing just 270 runs in six games at an average of 27 with a top score of 72 as his team failed to make the knockout rounds.

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“It was the selectors’ call. For me, Yash getting runs is the most important thing. He is the future of Delhi cricket. He needs to be taken care of. Anything that helps him concentrate on his batting and getting runs should be prioritised. He doesn’t need distractions off the field,” Delhi coach Devang Gandhi, also a former national selector, said.

Himmat Singh will lead Delhi in their second game against Jammu and Kashmir in Jammu from Friday. That the 27-year-old has been elevated despite low returns against Pondicherry (27 and 5) is illustrative of the lack of captaincy options. Ayush Badoni will continue to be vice-captain.

With Ishant Sharma communicating his unavailability for away matches this season and Navdeep Saini joining up with India A for games against England Lions beginning Friday, Delhi have made three changes to the 18-member squad that was picked for the opening match. Opener Salil Malhotra and pacers Kuldip Yadav and Prince Yadav have been drafted in. Left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra has been dropped.

For Pondicherry, this is comfortably their biggest achievement in six years of playing India’s premier first-class competition. Delhi resumed the fourth and final day on 126/8, a lead of 30 runs. It took just 6.4 overs for the visitors to grab the remaining two wickets and set themselves a target of 50 for victory. Abin Mathew dismissed Ishant for his fifth wicket of the innings while Gourav Yadav got the better of Harsh Tyagi for a match haul of 10/98.

If not for pacer Himanshu Chauhan uprooting opener Akash Kargave’s stumps six runs shy of the target, Pondicherry would have walked away from Ferozeshah Kotla with a bonus point. Pondicherry next play Baroda away from home.

In Patna on Monday, Mumbai wrapped up victory by an innings and 51 runs against Bihar in Group B. A collective bowling effort from the 41-time champions meant Bihar were bundled out for 100 for the second time in the game.

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