Indore: It was the evening of December 22, when the Holkar Stadium witnessed history as Rohit Sharma smashed his way to a hundred of just 35 balls in a T20I against Sri Lanka. Although not glamorous and definitely not much-hyped, history would again be made at the same venue when Delhi lock horns with Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy final, beginning on Friday, December 29.
Both Delhi and Vidarbha have had pretty decent outings in the tournament so far, led by a good mix of youth and experience. While Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant has been in poor form, Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal, though not well-known has been one of the reasons why Vidarbha has successfully made it to their maiden Ranji Trophy final.
The match would however be missed by two of India’s premier pace bowlers-Umesh Yadav (Vidarbha) and Ishant Sharma (Delhi) who is currently with the Indian team for the tour of South Africa. This in turn means that the focus now, would be on two of India’s finest young speedsters-Navdeep Saini of Delhi and Rajneesh Gurbani of Vidarbha.
Although the IPL has gathered all the attention and glamour over all these years, the importance of a Ranji Trophy final always remains the same. A good performance in this match can catch the selector’s attention and help in the progress of one’s career.
For Delhi, this would be a good opportunity to stamp their authority in the domestic circuit once again. After ending up way short in the past few seasons, the team which was initially led by Ishant has really performed well as a unit.
Coach KP Bhaskar said, “Our first goal was to qualify,”
“What we have been telling these boys is that unless we qualify you can’t showcase your talent in front of the selectors, the officials, captains and the seniors. That sort of spurred them up and won the last two knockout games. That’s why we are in the final and we hope to do well here as well.”
On the other hand, Vidarbha would be under some pressure, playing their maiden Ranji Trophy final. Fazal, the left-handed opener has played some crucial knocks in the tournament. A veteran of 97 first class games across 14 seasons, the Vidarbha captain is just a step away from achieving the most important title in Indian domestic cricket.
He said, “One thing is that we are a really happy unit. We are enjoying our cricket very much. We always used to enjoy but I don’t know why…we all believe that this season the trophy is ours. I want to have the feel of the trophy in my hands. I want to have that bite of success.”
Both these evenly matched teams who have put up dominant performances en route to the finals would clash and nothing less than a cracker is expected. Will Delhi reclaim the title after a gap of 10 years? Or will Fazal have his hands on the title and celebrate with his team at the end of the match?
No matter who comes out on top, a memorable final is on the cards.