Yuvraj-led Punjab take on Mumbai in keen contest
Mumbai : High on confidence after a fine start to their campaign which fetched them seven points, visitors Punjab would be keen to put Mumbai under the pump in their Group B second round Ranji Trophy encounter commencing at the Wankhede Stadium tomorrow.
Yuvraj Singh-led Punjab go into the game after an innings victory at home over Railways that came about after a strong all round show with their batsmen mustering over 600 runs and their bowlers backing up well.
Four three-figure knocks, including an unbeaten 201 by Gurkeerat Singh Mann who is not available for this game after being selected for the India ODI squad to take on South Africa from October 11, set up the huge total for Punjab.
Their varied bowling attack led by two left arm bowlers – pacer Barinder Singh Sran (6 wickets) in the first innings and spinner Varun Khanna (8 wickets) in the second – then dismissed Railways cheaply in both the innings at Mohali to deliver the knock out blow.
While praising his batting unit, Yuvraj today singled out Barinder Singh as this season’s big asset.
“Batsmen have been playing for a while now. Manan (Vohra), Mandeep Singh, Jiwanjot Singh – these guys have been doing well for a while – but our biggest strength has been Barinder Singh this year. He bowled really well (in the) last game, real quick,” said Yuvraj.
“I see a very good bowling side and I see a unit who are capable of winning the Ranji Trophy,” the left-handed batsman said ahead of the game against Mumbai.
Yuvraj conceded that Gurkeerat would be missed, but said he was happy the young batsman “has gone where he deserves to be” (Indian ODI squad, adding Himanshu Chawla is the replacement.
Hosts Mumbai, on the other hand, have made a shaky start to their campaign as they conceded the first innings lead to Andhra for the first time in history in their first round away game at Vizianagaram – after being unable to overhaul a modest total of 244 set up by the hosts by eight runs.