Fast bowler Ishant Sharma was on Sunday to closely monitor the 22-yard red-clay strip at the Ekan International Cricket Stadium, as the cover was removed. He did not exchange certain words with the fielders, but felt the hardness of the pitch.
Soon after this, they became busy with bowling a pink ball on the practice pitch around the main wicket. After sending some stock delivery, Ishant bowled the bowlers on the batters, who struggled to get them out.
Ishant played the last Test in March, in Ranchi against Australia. For the past six months, they have not represented India in any format.
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Ishant took bowlers to bowl seven overs (taking one wicket) after playing against Duleep Trophy in Kanpur for India Blue, led by Suresh Raina, against India Green last week, because the match ended.
Therefore, this will be an opportunity for the newly-elected captain of the Delhi Ranji Trophy team, when he will take field for India Blue against India Red in the five-day Duleep Trophy final starting here on Monday.
India Blue captain Suresh Raina said, “This is an important game for everyone including Ishant.” “Certainly, due to the rain in the last two matches, we could not practice the match. But we are a balanced side, the presence of Ishant and Pankaj Singh in the team promotes our self-confidence.”
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However, he acknowledged that demanding character, strength and courage in the form of patience in five-day cricket is the key to success. “For me, it is very important to start well before the domestic season and I am happy that I am in good quality with Willow. I hope my batting is also talking here too.”
Raina said, “I am here and you can see how fit I am. I am working hard on all facets of my cricket life, including fitness.”
Rival captain Dinesh Karthik claimed that even after losing several key players, his team was a good player with India Red. He said, “Many of our players have joined India A, playing in New Zealand, but it does not matter to us because we have good young players who are capable of taking the challenge.” He said, “It is a good opportunity for youngsters to show their class on a big platform, it is a tournament of India’s top 40 cricketers and I like everyone very much.”
India Blue: Suresh Raina (captain), Samit Gohel, Abhimanyu Sahasam, Wrestling Bharat, Manoj Tiwary, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Akshay Wakhre, Bhargav Bhat, Ishant Sharma, Pankaj Rao, Jaydev Unadkat, Shakun Kamat and Pankaj Singh .
India Red: Dinesh Karthik (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Akhil Herwadkar, Ishank Jaggi, Rahul Singh, Baba Indrajit, Sun Kumar Yadav, Washington Sunder, Vijay Gohel, Tulsi Thampi, CV Milind, Ashok Dinda, Siddharth Kaul