Gautam Gambhir is the captain of Delhi team © Getty Images
Gautam Gambhir is the captain of Delhi team © Getty Images (File Photo)

A strong Delhi side take on a confident Gujarat in the final match of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16 to decide the champion. All teams in the tournament played six matches each in the group stage, while the top two teams from each of the four groups qualified for the quarter-finals. The winners of the quarter-final round faced each other in the semi-final knock out matches and finalists were decided. Delhi, in their semi-final match defeated Himachal Pradesh to qualify for the much-awaited final to meet Gujarat, and claim their share on the domestic trophy. Vijay Hazare 2015-16: Full coverage here

The Delhi versus Himachal Pradesh match was thoroughly dominated by the Delhi team. Delhi, from the very beginning, has been a strong and star-studded team. Different players have emerged as the saviours in different matches at the time of need but the team has also seen consistent performers. Unmukt Chand, their opener and the hero of their semi-final victory, is one of the top ten run-scorers in the series. He has so far scored 308 runs playing in 7 matches. Another remarkable performer who has scored important runs in many matches and has also managed to bag a few wickets is all-rounder Nitish Rana. Apart from them, star batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and their skipper Gautam Gambhir are there to help the team with their talent and experience.

Delhi’s bowling attack is led by experienced Ishant Sharma. Ishant got a 5-for in the tournament and has been helping the team with many crucial wickets that have turned the match around. But their trump-card is bowler Subodh Bhati. He has, in the tournament, picked up 16 wickets by far and is one of the top five wicket-takers this season. Apart from Bhati, Pawan Negi and Navdeep Saini can also emerge as game-changers with the ball.

The Gujarat team is also comprised of many talented cricketers. The wicketkeeper-skipper Parthiv Patel is the most experienced in the team and has guided his team to the final while himself turning out to be one of the important batsmen for their side. The other top-order batsman upon whom the initial runs would depend is Priyank Kirit Panchal. Panchal has been very consistent while middle-order batsmen Rujul Bhatt, Manpreet Juneja, and Chirag Gandhi have contributed to the team’s scorecard.

Unlike Delhi, Gujarat has been dependent upon a combined bowling action as the bowlers each got wickets on an average to bundle the opponents in the previous encounters in the tournament. While RP Singh, Rush Kalaria, and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to do their usual bit, Gujarat’s key player has to be Akshar Patel. This all-rounder has shown his ability with both bat and ball becoming the third highest run-getter of his team in the tournament while taking 19 wickets, the maximum by any bowler in the tournament. His last wonder spell bore 6 wickets for 43 runs in the semi-final against Tamil Nadu. The action-packed clash of the two finalists is scheduled to take place at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Monday.

Squads:

Gujarat: Parthiv Patel (c) (wk), Rohit Dahiya, Mehul Patel, Priyank Panchal, Himalaya Barad, Rujul Bhatt, Jasprit Bumrah, Chirag Gandhi, Bhargav Merai, Manpreet Juneja, Rush Kalaria, Jesal Karia, Akshar Patel, Hardik Patel, Smit Patel, RP Singh.

Delhi: Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Unmukt Chand, Gautam Gambhir (c), Milind Kumar, Manan Sharma, Nitish Rana, Pawan Negi, Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini, Suboth Bhati, Rahul Yadav, Dhruv Shorey, Vaibhav Rawal, Vikas Tokas, Parvinder Awana.

Time: 14:30 IST

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)