Jaipur, Nov 8: The opening round of Ranji Trophy 2012-13 matches was under the spotlight with plenty of stars turning up for their respective sides. But now, the second round of clashes begin Friday and with lack of big names, it will be business as usual for the rest of players.
Mumbai, who were loaded with star power in the presence of Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, will face reigning champions Rajasthan. Rohit Sharma has been handed the captaincy in the absence of Ajit Agarkar, who is injured. Ajinkya Rahane too is missing with India duty.
All big players are part of India Test squad. India face England from November 15 in Ahmedabad. From Friday, they will be involved in a preparatory camp in Mumbai.
It is a big opportunity for Rohit to make an impression on the new set of selectors. With the Indian squad to be announced for the rest of the two Tests against England, Rohit is definitely one of the many batsmen, Sandeep Patil and team looking for.
Rohit is hugely talented. But that same has not translated into runs. He has not been consistent at the international level. He will be hoping to turn it around this season with Mumbai.
Elsewhere, VVS Laxman has to lift his Hyderabad side after sliding to an innings defeat against Punjab. They will be facing Madhya Pradesh and playing at home should bring them relief. Hyderabad will miss the services of Pragyan Ojha, who is part of Indian Test party.
In Chennai, neighours Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will face off. As history suggests, whenever these two teams meet, there is fierce contest. It would be the same come Friday.
Delhi, without Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, will lock horns with Odisha at home. Even in the absence of big names, Delhi should not find it difficult in quelling Odisha's challenge.
In all, 12 matches will get under way on Friday.
Ranji Trophy 2012-13 second round fixtures (November 9 to 12)
Group A: Rajasthan Vs Mumbai in Jaipur; Hyderabad Vs Madhya Pradesh in Hyderabad; Gujarat Vs Saurashtra in Surat; Punjab Vs Bengal in Mohali
Group B: Tamil Nadu Vs Karnataka in Chennai; Maharashtra Vs Uttar Pradesh in Pune; Baroda Vs Vidarbha in Baroda; Delhi Vs Odisha in Delhi
Group C: Andhra Vs Tripura in Anantapur; Goa Vs Jammu and Kashmir in Goa; Jharkhand Vs Assam in Jamshedpur; Himachal Pradesh Vs Services in Naduan