Chance for India hopefuls to impress

A bunch of domestic performers such as Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw along with a battle-hardened internationals like Ravichandran Ashwin will be eager to add some context to the Irani Cup when Rest of India clashes with Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha, here from Wednesday. With just three weeks left for the cash-rich Indian Premier League to start, the Irani Cup sticks out like a sore thumb as India As next big tour starts not before July.

Most of the Rest of India players have had a good Ranji Trophy season but BCCIs decision to re-schedule Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy before IPL auctions has taken the sheen away from the prestigious match, which used to serve as trials for India hopefuls in yesteryear. However, youngsters like Shaw, Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran wont mind a big hundred in front of national selectors as it would ensure a ticket for the A teams tour of England -- a series happening after 2010.

Ravikumar Samarth after a fabulous Deodhar Trophy would like to continue his rich vein of form. Among the bowlers, Navdeep Saini, who is one of the fastest bowlers in India at the moment, would like to make an impression. For Ashwin, it will be a chance to get some overs under his belt albeit in a different format, having skipped the Deodhar Trophy due to a "niggle". Ashwin replaced Jadeja in the squad with the latter yet to recover from a side strain sustained during the...

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