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Irani Cup: Vidarbha eye encore, Rahane gears up for big one, Umesh misses

Press Trust of India  |  Nagpur 

Rest of will be hoping to keep himself in the mix for selection as he leads a formidable Rest of against champions Vidarbha in the starting Tuesday.

For Vidarbha, the aim will be to do an encore of the 2017-18 season where they won both and

However it will be easier said than done against a Rest of batting line-up that boasts of current Test vice-Rahane, opener Mayank Agarwal, the dashing Shreyas Iyer and the dogged Hanuma Vihari in its ranks.

Rahane, who played three List A matches against England Lions with two half-centuries to his credit, is fighting for the reserve opener's slot.

For Agarwal, Iyer and Vihari, it will be good game time as they would have little motivation considering they are not in the scheme of things as far as is concerned.

While is a five-day game but a good knock will only help Rahane grab eyeballs as selectors zero in on the couple of slots available.

For Vidarbha, this Ranji season has been more of team work than individual brilliance. And their would be keen that his boys carry on this trend in the Irani Cup even though senior pacer Umesh Yadav will be missing due to a niggle.

Umesh has been advised rest and is expected to be replaced by Yash Thakur.

However all the other prominent names including 41-year-old Wasim Jaffer, left-arm spinner Aditya Sarwate, wicket-keeper batsman and seamer Rajneesh Gurbani will come out all guns blazing.

They will have their task cut out against Rest line-up which is more batting heavy with another talented domestic performer and India A regular to complement the senior internationals.

The bowling is slightly on the weaker side with Ankit Rajpoot of UP, Rajasthan's Tanveer ul Haq and Kerala's being the new ball bowlers. The spin department will be led by Saurashtra's Dharmendra Jadeja and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham.

For this hosts, apart from Jaffer, they will be banking on their and opener

Sarwate, who was the of the match in the final, is a handy all-rounder, who can contribute with both the bat and the ball. He dismissed in-form Cheteshwar Pujara, in both innings and would be aiming to dislodge Rahane, who has had more problems against slow bowlers compared to faster ones in recent years.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 18:50 IST