Vijay Hazare Trophy: Odisha eyes good run in domestic one-dayers
Bhubaneswar/Bengaluru: The premier domestic one-day tournament of the country Vijay Hazare Trophy is underway at various venues all around India. The teams are divided into four groups with Odisha placed in Group A along with Karnataka, Railways, Punjab, Assam, Baroda and Haryana. The Group A matches will be played in and around Bengaluru.
Govinda Poddar-led Odisha will be looking for a revival of fortunes after two disappointing tournaments earlier this season. Odisha had a disastrous Ranji Trophy with only six points from six games without a single win in the tournament. Again, in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, Odisha was not able to qualify for the super-league round after losing two matches in the East Zone leg of the tournament.
Experienced all-rounder Biplab Samantaray and Govinda Poddar will lead the batting. Slow left-armers Jayanta Behera and Sheshdeep Patra are going to handle the spin department along with all-rounder Abhishek Raut who joined Odisha this season after leaving Mumbai.
Vice-captain Basant Mohanty will shoulder the responsibility of pace bowling along with Suryakanta Pradhan and Deepak Behera.
Saurabh Rawat and P Roshan Kumar Rao will be seen behind the stumps as replacements to wicket-keeper Rajesh Dhuper who will be busy in Under-23 one-day tournament along with players like Subhranshu Senapati and Sandeep Patnaik.
Although Vinay Kumar-led Karnataka will miss the services of Manish Pandey and KL Rahul because of their international commitments, they still look very strong on paper with other reputed players like Karun Nair, Stuart Binny and Abhimanyu Mithun. Same is the case with Team Punjab which comprises of star players like Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh. Odisha will be playing Punjab and hosts Karnataka on 8 and 13 February, respectively.
Studded with many all-rounders like skipper Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya and international cricketer Yusuf Pathan, Baroda is expected to give Odisha a tough challenge in the fixture scheduled on February 14 at Alur.
Former international opener Shiv Sunder Das-coached Odisha will meet Railways in its first game of Group A at Alur on February 7 followed by matches against Punjab, Assam, Karnataka, Baroda and Haryana respectively.
Govinda Poddar (C), Basant Mohanty (VC), Biplab Samantray, Arvind Singh, Anurag Sarangi, Ranjit Singh, Prayas Singh Thakur, Abhishek Raut, Suryakanta Pradhan, Jayanta Behera, Shantanu Mishra, Sheshdeep Patra, Deepak Behera, P Roshan Kumar Rao (WK) and Saurabh Rawat (WK)