All eyes will be on Cheteshwar Pujara, hero of India’s first-ever Test series triumph in Australia when an upbeat Saurashtra face Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final beginning in Lucknow on Tuesday, PTI reported.
Pujara confirming his availability for the crucial tie is a big shot in the arm for Saurashtra, who were undefeated in Group A alongside Vidarbha with three wins and five draws. India’s Test no 3 paved the way for a historic Test series win in Australia with three centuries.
Saurashtra go into the must-win game high on confidence, having taken the first innings lead against defending champions Vidarbha with lead pacer and captain Jaydev Unadkat taking six wickets for 56 runs.
Apart from Pujara, a lot will be expected from Sheldon Jackson who has been the team’s leading run-scorer this season with 613 runs at 47.15. Harvik Desai has also been among the runs, scoring 538 at 35.86.
In the bowling department, Unadkat will expect left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja to deliver as he has been all through this season, collecting 38 wickets in eight games. Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, have the advantage of playing at home.
They will be relying on Rinku Singh (803 runs), Priyam Garg (740) and Akshdeep Nath (709) to put the runs on the board and hope that senior batsman Suresh Raina rises to the occasion. Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Dhapola and Ankit Rajpoot have been their go-to bowlers so far.