Ranji Trophy: Ishant Sharma's return raises Delhi's quarter-final hopes ahead of Maharashtra clash

Delhi's bid for a quarter-final berth received a major boost after their regular captain Ishant Sharma was released by the Indian team management for the Ranji Trophy group A clash against Maharashtra starting on Friday in New Delhi.

PTI, November 16, 2017

New Delhi: Delhi's bid for a quarter-final berth received a major boost after their regular captain Ishant Sharma was released by the Indian team management for the Ranji Trophy group A clash against Maharashtra starting on Friday in New Delhi.

For Maharashtra, their batting mainstay Kedar Jadhav is unavailable due to a wrist injury.

As per the policy of team management for the past few years, players who are not part of the playing XI are sent back to play first-class cricket to keep them match ready.

Ishant Sharma in action during the 3rd Test. AFP

Ishant Sharma will return to the Delhi camp as its leader, with Rishabh Pant serving as his deputy. AFP

"Ishant will be reaching Delhi by evening and he will be leading the side. Rishabh Pant will be his deputy. We have got confirmation," Delhi team manager Shankar Saini told PTI.

Delhi, with 17 points from four games, are currently placed second in group A behind Karnataka and are well in contention to grab one of the top two spots in the group.

On paper, they are the runaway favourites against Maharashtra, who are on 10 points from four games and would need big outright wins to qualify, which looks improbable at the moment.

With Ishant coming in, he will share the new ball with the dependable Navdeep Saini with Shivam Sharma and Manan Sharma manning the slow bowling.

Veteran Gautam Gambhir has been in good form with two centuries from four games, but Unmukt Chand's poor run is bothering the home team.

Chand has failed to get going, save his 49 against Uttar Pradesh, in a successful chase.

Dhruv Shorey has scored a few runs while Milind Kumar has not converted starts.

Pant, who has been going through a bad patch, would also like to get going.

Maharashtra coach Surendra Bhave informed that Kedar is currently in NCA for strength and conditioning.

"We have our skipper Ankit Bawne, who has been a dependable longer format player. Rahul Tripathi had a great IPL and Rohit Motwani is coming at the back of a hundred in the last game. I am still confident we can qualify," Bhave said.

Updated Date: Nov 16, 2017

T20 LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
6 5 1 0 10
2
Punjab
6 5 1 0 10
3
Hyderabad
6 4 2 0 8
4
Kolkata
6 3 3 0 6
5
Rajasthan
6 3 3 0 6
6
Bangalore
6 2 4 0 4
7
Mumbai
6 1 5 0 2
8
Delhi
6 1 5 0 2

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 5154 117
3 New Zealand 3886 102
4 Australia 4599 102
5 England 5029 97
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7595 123
2 South Africa 6912 117
3 England 7496 117
4 New Zealand 7081 114
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3763 130
2 Australia 2513 126
3 India 4341 121
4 New Zealand 3013 116
5 England 2402 114
6 South Africa 2551 111