Rajasthan to play Hyderabad in the quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy Elite Division starting from Jan. 2.
Jaipur: Admitting that they were lucky to have made the cut, Rajasthan skipper Aakash Chopra on Friday said the defending champions would miss the service of pacer Deepak Chahar in their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Hyderabad.
Down with jaundice, incidentally, it was Chahar, unheralded then, who broke the back of Hyderabad's batting line-up when the two sides met last season.
"He is a good prospect and his presence would have given us psychological edge since he was the one who had floored them singlehandedly in our first match last season. He is suffering from Jaundice and that would leave him very weak.
Hopefully he would be available for the next match," Chopra told PTI ahead of the match starting on January 2. Former India under-19 captain, Ashok Menaria, too, is out due to a groin injury for which he will be consulting a specialist in Germany.
After a slow start, Rajasthan picked up in the latter stages of the league phase to make the knockouts, but Chopra thanked the stars. "We were lucky to make the grade with a last-minute surge beating Saurashtra and Orissa. We have to play good cricket throughout now onwards. A bad session might prove costly. We have a new lease of life to defend our title. We would try our best to make best out of this chance," said the veteran opener.
Chopra was confident that the momentum would be with his team now. "We were not playing bad cricket and a slice of luck could have put us in better position. We could get only five points from five matches but things started changing later on. The luck assisted us and some good cricket saw us qualifying for the knockout phase. I am glad things fell in place at right time. Right now the momentum is with us."
Though Rajasthan had an easy win over Hyderabad in their last meeting, Chopra was against underestimating the opponents. "We beat Hyderabad hands down when they came here last season but we would not under estimate them. They would be playing at their home ground and any team which qualifies for quarterfinals must be a good team. We won't be complacent and we are thinking about one match at a time," he said after a practice session at the RCA academy.