Mar 07, 2017
By MI Media
While India's senior team battles it out against Australia in a gruelling Test series, List A cricket was in full swing as 28 domestic teams contested for 8 spots to make it to the quarter-finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Nearly 15 of our boys represented their respective teams in the tournament. They could have made a formidable team among themselves as well! Karnataka, Baroda, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Vidarbha, Jharkhand, Bengal & Maharashtra were the 8 teams who made it to the knockout stage.
There were many stellar performances by the MI lads, some of whom will be playing in the quarter-finals. The leading run-scorer among them was Saurabh Tiwary. The south-paw was exceptional, scoring back-to-back centuries. He is all set to return for Mumbai Indians this season and such performances can serve as ideal preparation before the IPL begins in April.
Gujarat had a fruitful run in the group stages, as Parthiv Patel and Jasprit Bumrah contributed heavily in almost all the games. Bumrah scalped 13 wickets, the joint most among MI players. Patel achieved similar honours, but with the bat, scoring 324 runs with 3 fifty-plus scores. He has had an amazing season with Gujarat, who lifted the Ranji Trophy for the first time ever and is pretty upbeat before his team plays their quarter-final against Tamil Nadu. He tweeted; “Good to finish #VijayHazare group phase on a high..now to Delhi for the knockouts..well done Gujarat..continuing good form of #RanjiTrophy.”
Our all-rounders brought their A-game to the fore too! The likes of the Pandya brothers & Vinay Kumar were instrumental in their teams’ qualification for the quarters. Krunal Pandya was quite exceptional with the bat, having scored over 250 runs with wickets at crucial junctures. Jitesh Sharma stood out with three impressive half centuries for Vidarbha, and a well-anticipated catch to a paddle sweep down the leg side made for the icing on the cake.
A refreshing sign for Mumbai Indians was the way our new recruits performed in their respective departments. K. Gowtham and Kulwant Khejroliya more than justified their purchases in our squad. Gowtham had a couple of cameos with the bat, to go with the four-for and five-for, which helped Karnataka ease to the top of the group. Khejroliya, who was quite the surprise buy at the VIVO IPL Auction, was selected as an extra player in the Delhi squad for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He claimed the wickets of 13 batsmen, not going wicket-less in any of Delhi’s games, but his team didn’t make it to the knockouts.
With the IPL coming up in a month’s time, none of these players will want to lose their touch and keeping the form intact will be of utmost importance, for their teams as well. Four intriguing clashes are lined up for the quarter-finals and a lot of pride is at stake in the domestic circuit. At the moment, it’s tough to pick clear favourites for the semi-finals.