The league stages of Vijay Hazare Trophy entering the next phase, the knockout stage. The four quarter-final matches will be played in Delhi with the first and the third match scheduled at Feroz Shah Kotla and the second and the fourth fixture being scheduled at Palam ground. For the knockout stage, several cricketers have returned to their respective teams including Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer.
Gambhir returned to Delhi squad recovering from his ankle injury. Iyer was on the South Africa tour along with the India squad. The player is now back to Mumbai team. Another top player, Ajinkya Rahane was to join Mumbai, but he asked for a rest break after the hectic session in the South Africa tournament.
Gautam Gambhir is back from injury. He rested on the league phase due to the ankle injury. His comeback will be crucial for Delhi as the team’s line-up is already bolstered with the likes of Unmukt Chand on batting front. While, the likes of Ishant Sharma and Kulwant Khejroliya are able to sustain a strong attack with the bowling.
A setback for Karnataka will be the dropout of their skipper R Vinay Kumar due to a serious elbow injury. Karnataka was to play a quarterfinal match against Delhi. While the latter had an inclusion of strong players, the former lost one of its top bets. Karnataka will be headed by Karun Nair. Baroda’s Yusuf Pathan is replaced by Akshay Brahmbhatt. The reason of his dropout is cited as underperformance in consecutive matches. The allrounder also faced ban from previous matches due to an alleged doping charge. In the last six matches, Pathan could only score 79 runs and nicked a single wicket.
Mumbai is hoping to pace up its knockout stage form with Shreyas Iyer back to the squad. The team has players like Prithvi Shaw and Iyer’s comeback will offer a strong support to the batting line-up. Iyer was in the ODI team playing against South Africa. Mumbai is set play against Maharashtra in the quarterfinal.