Delhi eyeing full points against AP

Published: Monday, November 15, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Having managed to save the opener by the skin of their teeth, former champions Delhi would be hoping to go with all guns blazing against Andhra Pradesh to secure full points on their home turf in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group match starting here tomorrow.

But the task will surely not be easy as the hosts would have a depleted field to choose from as four of their top players are busy on national duty.

While opener and skipper Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra have been selected in the national team for the Test series against Australia, their pace spearhead for last couple of seasons -- Amit Bhandari -- is doing duty for the Board President's XI at Jaipur.

But since only Bhandari was named in the original squad declared for the first two matches, only one player, N S Negi, would come into the roaster.

Delhi dominated the first three days of their Group 'A' league opener against Gujarat at the latter's home ground but a sudden batting collapse on the final day almost proved fatal before the last wicket pair held on to give their team two points for the first innings lead.

Andhra Pradesh are sure to miss the services of all-rounder Y Venugopal Rao, who has been in prime form of late with the bat as well as the bowl.

The 22-year-old, who is also playing in the tour match in Jaipur, had two good knocks (140 and 60 not out) in the first match against Madhya Pradesh and claimed four scalps with his tweakers to help his team gain two points from the away encounter.

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