Delhi look to salvage some pride
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Delhi look to salvage some pride

An enraged man is a careless man. The last match played between Delhi and Himachal may provide ample evidence to those who still doubt the practicality of this axiom.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 22:42 IST

An enraged man is a careless man. The last match played between Delhi and Himachal may provide ample evidence to those who still doubt the practicality of this axiom.

Incensed by the perpetual malfeasance and ignominious politics that mires the Delhi and District Cricket Association, besides their mind not being at peace, Delhi' carelessness was all too apparent against Himachal on Tuesday, when they crashed to a 141-run defeat.

But that was then, this is now. Much water has flown under the bridge in the last two days. First, the DDCA has decided to get its house in order, and what better way to start than sack the entire pack of misfiring misfits. The entire selection committee, responsible for Delhi cricket team's current quagmire, was axed on Wednesday and replaced by a new one ahead of the hosts' vital showdown against Haryana, a match that is likely to prove decisive in the quest to qualify from North Zone.

So when hopefully a "reincarnated" Delhi team will takes the field against Haryana, their mind likely away from all the damning controversies, a much better showing could be expected. The loss to Himachal, would have been hard to swallow for Delhi, particularly with Himachal too, possesses a squad not exactly selected for cricketing reasons.

Therefore, it is imperative amends be made without further adieu. Skipper Mitthun Manhas will have his work cut out in masterminding the strategy, with Delhi' batting appearing brittle and bowling too lacking the requisite potency and penetration to dismiss a batting line-up as strong as Haryana.

Delhi's leadership would be happy to see the back of bone of contention Yogesh Sachdeva, who name has been omitted from the squad along with Gaurav Chhabra's. All-rounder Kuldeep Rawat and Victor Wilkins have been drafted in their place.

Delhi, would be hoping that experienced players like Aakash Chopra, Manhas, Rajat Bhatia among others would stand up and be counted in the match and guide the young pack with them. Batting remains Delhi' best chance to pull one over Haryana and get them back in contention for the second place.

But then Haryana might have other ideas. The team, possessing a nice blend of young and mature heads, has been in fairly decent form and won't be any pushovers, but then in Delhi's case no one ever is. Haryana' batting has been in excellent touch with opener Sumit Sharma leading the charge. In Sunny Singh, Shafiq Khan, Sachin Rana and Sidharth Verma, Haryana has a middle -order worth counting on and the bowling, with the guile of skipper Amit Mishra and Gaurav Vashisht, has depth.

The stakes involved in the match are massive but in the end it would boil down to, which team has more intent. Or whether Delhi players have exorcised the ghost of Tuesday.

Delhi: Mitthun Manhas (captain), Aakash Chopra, Shikhar Dhawan, Puneet Bisht (wk), Rajat Bhatia, Abhinav Bali, Amit Bhandari, Kuunal Lall, Ishant Sharma, Suhail Sharma, Chetanya Nanda, Kuldeep Rawat, NS Negi, Virat Kohli and Victor Wilkins.

Haryana: Amit Mishra (captain), Joginder Sharma, Shafiq Khan, Mahesh Rawat, Sumit Sharma, Sachin Rana, Saurav Virmani, Gaurav Vashisht, Pradeep Sahu, Jitendra Malik, Tejinder Mann, Sanjay Bammal, Siddharth Verma and Sunny Singh.

First Published: Feb 15, 2006 22:42 IST