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 from Wednesday.
Delhi managed to get just one point from their game against Kerala before enduring an outright defeat against Andhra Pradesh.
But Hyderabad also exactly haven't set the stage on fire. They are also smarting from two outright defeats.
From the first two groups (A and B), the top five teams will go into the quarterfinals. 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 Sri Lanka T20 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 the 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.
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