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Challenger Trophy: Redemption time for India discards

October 09, 2011 22:05 IST

Team India discards -- Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra, and the Pathan brothers -- will get another opportunity to stake a claim in the national team at the annual NKP Salve Challenger Trophy which gets underway in Nagpur on Monday.

S Badrinath, Murali Vijay, Saurabh Tiwary, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and Abhimanyu Mithun are among the other players who would like to send the selectors a reminder about their abilities.

India Blues, led by Badrinath will take on Gautam Gambhir-led India Red in the first match of the tournament at the VCA's stadium at Jamtha in a day-night encounter on Monday.

The third team -- India Green – will be skippered by Harbhajan, who has been ignored for the first two India-England ODIs at home despite regaining full fitness.

Promising Tamil Nadu openers Abhinav Mukund (India Red) and Vijay (India Blue), who have an excellent track record at the VCA Jamtha, will also look to improve their chances for a national recall.

Performances of fringe players like Shikhar Dhawan (India Red), who became the only cricketer to score tons in both innings of the Irani Trophy last week, Manish Pandey, and Saurabh Tiwary (all India Blue) will also be closely watched.

The match will also see a battle between spinners -- Ojha, Mishra (India Red) and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (India Blue) -- who not too long ago were fighting for the second spinners slot in the national team.

Another player whose performance will be noted is left-arm pacer RP Singh who made a dramatic appearance in the Indian team during the Test series in England where he faltered before recovering in the ODIs only to be dropped again for the first two matches against the same opponents.

The two rival sides had a late afternoon session minus Gambhir and south paw Saurabh Tiwary who are expected to arrive in Nagpur later on Sunday.

The wicket looks a typical One-day track and with the late afternoon sun beating down, very little assistance is expected for the bowlers.

The tournament will be played under the amended ICC rules.

 Teams:

India Red: Gautam Gambhir (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Abhinav Mukund, Ambati Rayudu, Ashok Menaria, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Jalaj Saxena, Piyush Chawla, Bhargava Bhatt, Pankaj Singh, Jaydev Unadkat,T Sudhendra, Yusuf Pathan, RP Singh.

India Blue: S Badrinath (Capt), Murali Vijay, Paul Valthaty, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (Wk), Mandeep Singh, Saurabh Tiwari, Irfan Pathan, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, YV Krishanarty, Prashant Parameshwaran, Pradeep Sangwan, Tanmay Srivastava.

India Green: Harbhajan Singh (Capt), Robin Uthappa, S Anirudha, T Suman, Mohnish Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Ishank Jaggi, Mohammad Kaif, CM Gautham, S Ladda, Iqbal Abdullah, Abhimanyu Mithun, Samad Fallah, Ishwar Choudhary, S Narwal.

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