Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir and fit-again Shikhar Dhawan are set to open the innings for a bolstered Delhi side that is desperate to log home six points against Team Rajasthan in their sixth round Ranji Trophy group B encounter, in Wayanad, on Monday.
Gambhir has been released by the Indian team while Dhawan, who has recovered from thumb fracture, will be eager to get back into action with his sights set on the ODI series against England in January.
"Gambhir and Dhawan will be opening the innings while Unmukt (Chand) will be batting at No 3. This is a do-or-die match for us. We need atleast two outright wins from our next three matches if we have to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out phase. I am keeping my fingers crossed," chief coach KP Bhaskar said on Sunday.
Gambhir, who failed in both innings of the first Test against England in Rajkot, was left out as a fit-again
After the drawn first Test where Indian batting came under scrutiny in the second innings, Karnataka right-hander KL Rahul was pulled out of an ongoing Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan to be brought into the Indian team.
India Test captain Virat Kohli had declared fit-again K L Rahul as the team's No.1 choice opener. "We had it pretty clear in our heads that KL (Rahul) is our number one choice along with Murali Vijay. He is fit at any stage, he comes back into the team and we are going to start with him, be it pulling him out of a first-class game in between."
Image: Gautam Gambhir