They are not cricket’s traditional powerhouses, but a Jharkhand team mentored by none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is ready to take on a gutsy Haryana side that will miss the services of new star Jayant Yadav. While Dhoni may not be donning the whites again but in spirit he will be present at the Moti Bagh ground when India hopeful Ishan Kishan wears the big gloves or lines up to hit those big sixes. Dhoni, it is learnt, has taken personal interest in Ishan Kishan’s progress.
The former India U-19 captain has scored 633 runs but, more importantly, has hit 27 sixes and 67 fours — something that has been noticed by one and all. His innings of 273 is being talked about. The same goes for Kaushal Singh, an all-rounder with 360 runs and six wickets, and who has also grown up playing a lot of night tennis ball tourneys, like Dhoni in his formative years. The presence of Ishank Jaggi (675 runs with 3 tons) and much leaner Saurabh Tiwary (514 runs) also gives Jharkhand a balanced look despite their regular captain Varun Aaron being available for only two games. For Haryana, wily Amit Mishra will be turning up in what will be his biggest game for the state side under the leadership of Mohit Sharma. “Mohit has led the side wonderfully and he will continue to lead.
We are happy to have Amit playing the quarter-final but Jayant has not yet recovered. So unfortunately we will miss him,” BCCI treasurer and Haryana Cricket Association supremo Aniruddh Chaudhary said on Thursday. It has been a great team performance from Haryana with their wicketkeeper-batsman Nitin Saini scoring 926 runs with four tons. Rajat Paliwal’s shift from Services to Haryana has proved to be a good move as he has collected 532 runs, apart from three wickets, while 18-year-old Shubham Rohilla has been another stand-out performer with 622 runs. Among the bowlers, seasoned Mohit, with 27 wickets, and the wiry Yuzvendra Chahal, with 28 wickets, have been the primary performers. This will be the first domestic match of the season to be aired live.