Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir fail in Ranji; Suresh Raina slams a ton
Delhi needed Vireder Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir - the two most senior members in the side - to fire against Gujarat at Surat. The veterans, looking for a way to return to Team India, were unsuccessful once again. In a separate match, Punjab's Harbhajan though shone vs Mumbai with four wickets.
Even as batsmen in the current Indian team pile on runs in all formats, veteran stars Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir continue to languish in the domestic circuit. In Delhi's Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat in Surat, Sehwag and Gambhir scored 1 and 31, respectively on Friday.
Both Gambhir and Sehwag have not featured in the national team since early 2013. Their hunt for runs in the domestic format, however, was unsuccessful. Chasing a first innings total of 320, Delhi needed the two players - with combined number of 158 Tests and 398 ODIs - to fire on all cylinders. It was not meant to be as opener Gambhir inside-edged an Akshar Patel delivery to short-leg while Sehwag - batting at No. 4 - fell to spinner Jesal Karia.
While fans have been expecting both batsmen to score heavily in Ranji cricket to regain the confidence of selectors, 32-year-old Gambhir and 35-year-old Sehwag have been unimpressive so far. Delhi's first match against Jharkhand was washed out.
In a bid to stay in touch with competitive cricket, Gambhir chose to play County cricket for Essex side in August. His showing here was largely mediocre with scores of 31, 21, 2 and O before a centuryÂ in the second innings versus Gloucestershire. To make his way back to the Indian national team would require many more such tons from both him and Sehwag.
Another player looking to work his way to the Indian Test team - Suresh Raina - however smashed an impressive ton on Thursday. Raina, playing for Uttar Pradesh, hit 123 against Baroda before returning on Friday to claim two wickets as well. Spin was kind to Harbhajan Singh as well who claimed four wickets for Punjab against Mumbai at Chandigarh.
The Indian team at Eden though hardly seems to be missing any of these players with debutant Rohit Sharma hitting 177 and R Ashwin scoring 124 to add to his tally of wickets, against West Indies. (Scorecard)