Delhi stand in way of Vidarbha chasing maiden Ranji glory
Indore: A win away from their maiden title, Vidarbha embodied the allure often associated with underdogs as they braced up to face a battle-hardened Delhi that has for years braved a system that is anything but robust, in the final of Ranji Trophy.
Since reaching their maiden semi-final of the country's premier domestic tournament, Vidarbha's story has been about getting familiarised with unchartered territories, and now they are up against a team that is also seeking happy endings for years.
If Vidarbha's dream run ends in a heartbreak at the Holkar Stadium, it would pave the way for Delhi's eighth triumph -- the last coming almost a decade back.
Some turnaround it has been after the off-field controversies that dogged the team last season, with much publicised altercation between then skipper Gautam Gambhir and coach KP Bhaskar.
A team that has produced some of the finest players in recent years and looks set to supply a player or two more to the Indian cricket team in near future, Delhi certainly look like the fancied of the two finalists.
However, given Vidarbha's spirited run to their maiden title clash, Delhi are well aware of the threat the first- timers could pose over the next few days. Not one to take anything for granted, Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant said on the eve of the match,"We are just focused on the job at hand. We know we will have to play really well to win the match."
Medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani has become the toast of the domestic scene since he ran through season favourites Karnataka's a star-studded batting line-up in the semifinal in Kolkata. In Delhi, Gurbani and his teammates have another difficult challenge facing them.
With the seasoned Gambhir at the top of the order, Delhi know they have a player who can be relied on in times of crisis. If the out-of-favour India opener is able to add to the three centuries and two fifties in the final, Delhi would be too happy to lap it all.agencies