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Saurashtra start favourites against Raj

Bolstered by the return of inform Cheteshwar Pujara and old war horse Siddharth Trivedi, Saurashtra will start as favorites against defending champions Rajasthan in a four-day Ranji Trophy Group A match starting at the K L Saini stadium at Mansarovar tomorrow.

 The visitors are eyeing a huge victory against Rajasthan, who looked jaded and are languishing at the bottom of the group with five points from six outings.

 Saurashtra, on the other hand, has 16 points from six matches and are very much in the running for a place in the knock-out stage of the tournament. They need a win in their remaining two matches to stay in the hunt for a place in the quarterfinals.

 Title holders Rajasthan, who surprised the cricketing world by winning the coveted Ranji Trophy for the last two consecutive years, were dented heavily by the absence of Akash Chopra, who opted to play for Himachal Pradesh this season.

 Sans Chopra, Rajasthan's batting has never looked solid in the tournament so far and injuries here and there have added to their woes.

 The likes of Robin Bisht and Vineet Saxena, who were in tremendous form last year, are not in the best of touch and veteran Rashmi Ranjan Parida too has not been consistent enough. The wicket at the K L Saini stadium is good for batting .
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