Yuvraj Singh © Getty Images
Yuvraj Singh might force his way into national reckoning with a big innings © Getty Images

Karnataka will take on Punjab for the title clash of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15. The match will not only be vital for the teams, but also for some individuals as The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will announce the probable list for World Cup 2015 after the end of domestic One-day tournaments. Sandipan Banerjee finds out some of those cricketers who will take this opportunity to secure their boarding pass for Australia.

Though the big names seldom compete, it cannot be denied that Indian domestic cricket plays a role in the selection for future stars. The domestic season usually starts with red-ball cricket, teeing off with the Ranji and Duleep Trophies. The One-Day formats, Vijay Hazare trophy and Deodhar Trophy, follow suit.

Keeping India’s ICC World Cup 2015 campaign in mind, however, the shorter formats are being scheduled before the Ranji Trophy. This probably means that good performances in Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophies will be noticed by national selectors, when they will select the list of World Cup probables. This will be an extra incentive for the Karnataka and Punjab cricketers ahead of the Vijay Hazare final on November 25 at Ahmedabad.

There are experienced and talented cricketers in both the teams who will be desperate to impress. Let’s have a look at those names and their performances.

Yuvraj Singh: The biggest name of the lot is Yuvraj Singh, Man of the Tournament in World Cup 2011. He has been ignored by the national selectors since the debacle of this year’s World T20 final. Though he is still hopeful for another chance, his performance in the eight games of the tournament has not been up to the mark: he has scored only 181 runs at an average of 30.16. But a match-winning innings for Punjab in the final may change his fate.

Harbhajan Singh: It will be tough for Harbhajan Singh to make a comeback. He has been out of the national squad for some time now and has not been prolific in domestic cricket either. In this season’s Vijay Hazare Trophy he has taken only eight wickets in eight matches. An outstanding spell against the strong Karnataka line-up may give the selectors something to think about.

Robin Uthappa: Robin Uthappa has a genuine chance to play his second World Cup. He has not looked back since an outstanding 2013-14 domestic season. From Ranji Trophy to Indian Premier League (IPL), he scored runs everywhere. But his performance has dipped a bit in the ongoing tournament. He only managed to play five matches and scored only 127 runs. He needs to improve his performance.

Manish Pandey: Manish Pandey has been having an excellent time in this tournament. He is the second-highest run-getter (432) after Shreevats Goswami (447), and will have an opportunity to get past him. Pandey has been in the Indian squad recently, and he is in the frame of schemes of the selectors.  On Tuesday, he would be desperate to put up another good show to keep his World Cup hopes alive.

Stuart Binny: Stuart Binny is another player who would like to take this final as an opportunity to silence his critics. Though he is getting chances at the international level consistently in recent times, but his performance in those matches was not up to the mark. He has played only two games in the ongoing tournaments and has made useful contributions with bat and ball.

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)