With a string of sensational, match-winning performances under his belt, Prithvi Shaw will take centerstage as Mumbai take on Uttar Pradesh in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Delhi on Sunday.
Shaw’s phenomenal aggregate of 754 runs in the tournament so far, which includes scores of 105 not out, 227 not out, 185 not out and 165, has brought the spotlight back on him after he was dropped from the Indian team during the recent Test series in Australia.
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Uttar Pradesh, with Gyanendra Pandey as head coach, have played solid cricket with captain Karan Sharma leading the team well. Left-arm pacer Yash Dayal is likely to test Shaw by bringing the ball back in to the right-hander.
But it isn’t just Shaw who the UP bowlers have to be wary of, Mumbai have plenty of firepower with the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sarfaraz Khan, Aditya Tare, Shams Mulani and Shivam Dube.
The Mumbai bowlers led by experienced pacer Dhawal Kulkarni (14 wickets), Tushar Deshpande and the spin-trio of Prashant Solanki, Tanush Kotian and Shams Mulani, have delivered more than once and will need to bowl in the right areas in the all-important clash.
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Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, defeated Gujarat by five wickets, to make it their third summit clash.
For them, the role of in-form skipper Karan (225 runs) and wicket-keeper Upendra Yadav (276 runs), along with experienced campaigner Akshdeep Nath, will be crucial. Their openers Abhishek Goswami (187 runs) and Madhav Kaushik will also need to give a strong start.
Mumbai, who have won the tournament thrice, the last one being 2018-19, will be looking to end the season on a high. UP, on the other hand, who will be playing their third final, would also be eyeing a second title after having shared the trophy with Tamil Nadu in 2004-’05 after the final ended in a tie.
Though Mumbai are favourites, the UP team is capable of springing a surprise come Sunday at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Match starts at 9 AM.
(With inputs from PTI)