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And now the final cut

The second trial game to select the Delhi Ranji one-day squad also went off peacefully. At least for the selectors!

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 23:26 IST

The second trial game to select the Delhi Ranji one-day squad also went off peacefully. At least for the selectors!

After spending two days on the sidelines of the Kotla, no "outside forces" should now trouble them with their requests (read threats) for the inclusion of their "outstanding" candidates.

Contrary to proceedings on Day One, when even senior Delhi players were made to play, Day Two was almost completely dedicated to the players on trial. However, the end result remained the same.

On Thursday, it was again Virat Kohli (80 retired), Suhail Sharma (28), NS Negi (31) and Abhinav Bali (64 retired) who were the pick of the lot. If Kohli displayed his class with yet another graceful stay at the wicket, then Bali showed that he is capable of tearing apart any attack in his usual ruthless style.

Although he didn't get the chance to showcase his left-arm spin but watching him whacking the ball around at the top may have opened up many options for the Delhi team management.

The two other players who left an impression on the selectors with their all-round show were Suhail Sharma and NS Negi. Suhail, who impressed with his off-spin bowling on Wednesday, looked more than determined to underline his usefulness in the one-dayers.

His two massive sixes over the point boundary left the people watching stunned. It was difficult to remember any other player hitting these kinds of shots in the last few seasons, ever since Virender Sehwag graduated to the Indian team.

Negi again showcased his utility as a fine one-day player. Apart from his batting and bowling, his athleticism on the field while fielding could be an added asset to any playing side.

Apart from these four, there were two other players who caught the attention of the selectors. Kuldeep Rawat and Ashish Malhotra looked effective with the new ball.

Now, it's up to the selectors to reward these deserving players with the right kind of incentive when they meet on Friday to pick the team for the first two games.

Being hosts, there will be added pressure on Delhi this time. There would hardly be anyone listening to any complaints regarding the choice of wickets either. It would be interesting to see whether Delhi selectors give skipper Mitthun Manhas a team of his choice or again compromise for the sake of compulsory "quotas".

However, given the statements of selection committee chairman Anil Jain, who has always backed the performing youngsters, it should be hard for anyone to push for vested interests.

If all's fair, performance will count. We'll wait and hope.

Brief scores: Team B: 251 for 9 in 50 overs defeated Team A: 210 for 9 in 45.5 overs.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 23:26 IST