Bolstered by the presence of impact top-order batsman Shikhar Dhawan and intimidating pacer Ishant Sharma, a beleaguered Delhi will look to turn things around when they take on Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy Group A encounter. A preview of the Ranji Trophy matches starting on Wednesday.
Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane and Prithvi Shaw have another opportunity to impress when Mumbai take on Railways in Elite Group 'B' game of the Ranji Trophy, which begins in Mumbai, from Wednesday.
Rahane was exactly not among the runs in the lung opener against Baroda, which the 41-time domestic champions won by 309 runs.
Rahane is playing back-to-back Ranji games after a long time and it would be a good opportunity for him to get some runs under his belt, especially at his home turf, before he heads for New Zealand with the India 'A' team.
On the other hand, Shaw, who also has been named in India 'A' squad for the New Zealand tour, has made a strong comeback after serving an eight-month doping ban by slamming a double hundred against Baroda in the lung opener.
The talented right-handed opener would be more than keen to carry forward his good form and prove his mettle.
Even Mumbai skipper Suryakumar Yadav, another player in the India 'A' squad travelling to New Zealand, would want to do his best against Railways.
Yadav said his players were up for the challenge.
"The players and myself are positive. They are doing pretty well and the mood in the camp is positive," said Yadav.
Railways, led by leggie Karn Sharma, are coming in to the game after suffering an innings defeat against defending champions Saurashtra. But they would want to bounce back from that reverse and give a tough challenge to Mumbai.
Sharma said his side had one bad game against Saurashtra but they won't think about it.
"We have limited players but still we are doing well. We had one bad game (against Saurashtra), but we won't think about that. We will focus on our game. The wicket at Wankhede is good," said Sharma.
Mumbai are without India players Shreyas Iyer and Shivam Dube and Sharma said his side would try to take advantage of the situation.
Sharma said that playing for India will always be at the back on his mind.
"(Playing for India) is at the back of my mind but not in my hands. I just need to keep performing. The selection is not in my hands,I need to perform. I want my team to win, if the team does well at the top, someone will play at the top," he said.
Meanwhile, former Rajasthan coach Pradeep Sundaram, who is the bowling coach at the MCA Academy in BKC, is helping the Mumbai squad.
Yadav said Sundaram was an asset to the team and they were happy to have him on board.
Shikhar, Ishant boost for struggling Delhi
Bolstered by the presence of impact top-order batsman Shikhar Dhawan and intimidating pacer Ishant Sharma, a beleaguered Delhi will look to turn things around when they take on Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy Group A encounter.
Delhi managed to get just one point from their game against Kerala before losing outright to Andhra Pradesh.
But Hyderabad also exactly haven't set the stage on fire having lost two outright games.
From the first two groups (A and B), the top five teams will go into the quarter-finals. After two rounds, Delhi are placed 12th among 17 teams and Hyderabad are languishing at the bottom.
Having performed below-par in all departments, the onus will certainly be on the two seasoned internationals who have been there and done that umpteen times at this very ground in the past.
The biggest problem has been the poor show of Dhruv Shorey and Jonty Sidhu in the middle-order.
"It is an opportunity for Delhi to turn things around as two senior players have come in, which will have an impact on the team's performance. Ishant did well in Test matches and I am making a comeback from injuries," skipper Dhawan said after a net session at the Kotla.
For Dhawan, it will be his first first-class game in 15 months as he tries to get into the groove for the Sri Lanka Twenty20 series, which could be a make or break for him with KL Rahul in prime form.
Dhawan's presence at the top will also give confidence to the dogged Kunal Chandela.
"I am here to share my experience with the younger lot and if they benefit from it, then why not," said the Delhi captain.
It is expected that Delhi will go into the game with three seamers in Ishant, Simarjeet Singh and Pawan Suyal.
Whether team will play a specialist spinner depends on the conditions.
If the conditions remain overcast, Delhi might opt for batting all-rounder Kunwar Bidhuri or else it could be seamer-all-rounder Subodh Bhati.
The slow bowler's duties will be performed by part-time off-spinners Nitish Rana and Lalit Yadav with three left-handed batsmen in the opposition line-up.
Among the opposition bowlers, Mohammed Siraj, who has played an ODI and three T20Is for India is the only name of repute. Seamer Ravi Kiran is also there in the Hyderabad ranks.