Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 8
With the new Ranji Trophy season kicking off tomorrow at various venues, six teams from the region — Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh — will look to put up their best performances in the three-month long tournament.
In Group A, Punjab begin their campaign against Rajasthan at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur tomorrow. Himachal Pradesh will take on Saurashtra at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala in a Group B match. In Group C, Haryana take on Maharashtra at Lahli near Rohtak, while Uttarakhand take on Jammu and Kashmir at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy in Dehradun.
From the region’s perspective, all eyes will be on Shubman Gill, who will once again stake a claim for a place in the Indian team.
Expectations will be high from the Punjab team as it boasts of a handful of India A players and new coach Munish Bali, who has the reputation of marshalling young talent efficiently. It remains to be seen how Punjab fare in their home matches as they play at Patiala, barring one match in Mohali.
This season Punjab failed to clear the semifinals hurdle during the Vijay Hazare Trophy but reached the Super League stage in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
Last year, Uttarakhand turned out to be the surprise package from the region as they entered the quarterfinals even as all the established teams from the region wilted before the knockout stage. Uttarakhand lost to eventual champions Vidarbha by an innings and 115 runs in Nagpur.
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