Ranji Trophy Season Preview: Delayed start takes off the glamour
Updated - Dec 7, 2014 9:21 am
Ranji Trophy Season Preview: Delayed start takes off the glamour: In India, Cricket is a religion – and probably for every religious follower it will be good times ahead as India’s premium domestic tournament the Ranji Trophy kicks off on Sunday.
This year, however much of the glamour of Ranji Trophy has gone down due to delayed scheduling of the domestic championship. Usually, it has been seen that since the two tier system has been introduced, the tournament kicks off as early as October and ends by the end of January. But this time it is a delayed start. The reason behind the delay was to let the selectors analyse the one-day skills of the domestic players to help as a catalyst in picking the 30 man probables squad for the ICC World Cup in February.
Ranji Trophy took a backseat as the Deodhar Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy were upstaged before that. The problem this time with scheduling is that, the Ranji Trophy apparently spans for 3 months and it will certainly clash with the cricket World Cup 2015, which see another dip in the spectators and also the Elite players who star the matches will be missing.
However, the 30 man squad for the World Cup has been picked, so the Ranji performances can be used as yardstick for selecting at least 3-4 players for the final 15. The selectors have a month to go before they select the final squad. The players will look to impress the selectors with their stellar performances.
Ranji Trophy is always known for its veterans and their big hand in helping groom young cricketers in the respective teams. Former Indian players like Murali Karthik and Hrishikesh Kanitkar will not be seen from this season. Also missing will be Amol Mazumdar. Wasim Jaffer of Mumbai is just 263 runs from reaching the 10,000 runs mark.
But all eyes will be on the senior players who missed out on the World Cup Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir. Their international careers are at stake, for the selectors have given an indirect intimation that performance is much more counted than reputation.
Also keeping an eye on the Ranji Trophy will be the IPL franchisees, which looks to recruit some good Indian talent every year. If not the Indian team, the seniors need atleast have a season of IPL, for that they will need to perform in the next three months of Ranji cricket.
Ranji Trophy cricket will also be a learning curve for a lot of youngsters to showcase their talents and probably impress the selectors to play for the nation. Last season, Karnataka showed their success during the previous years was no fluke. They maintained an unbeaten run throughout the whole tournament and showcased what they can do. They have a mix of players who have played for the country and who are near to play for the country which includes the likes of Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar. However, there are notable absentees from the team like Ganesh Sateesh and Amit Verma, who have gone for greener ventures. One would have to see the matches on Sunday to see where their teams stands. It’s hard to predict. It can’t be won by luck. Skill prevails in the long format – either you have it or you don’t have it !