Rajkot: Saurashtra will face a do-or-die situation when they host Madhya Pradesh in their final round Group A Ranji Trophy match here in Khandheri Saturday. Madhya Pradesh, having already earned 20 points, are likely to qualify for the next round.
"We are focussing to play good cricket as we have done so far this season and our aim is to take first inning lead which will help us to qualify for the next round," Devendra Bundela, captain of Madhya Pradesh, said. "The pressure would be on Saurashtra and only an outright win will help them to qualify for next round," he said.
Madhya Pradesh batting would rely on Bundela, Naman Ojha and Jalaj Saxena while the bowling department would be spearheaded by Ishwar Pandey, Anand Rajan and Amarjeet Singh. Host skipper Jaydev Shah admitted that Saurashtra are in trouble. "I can't say that we have advantage of playing at home ground as this match is do or die for us to qualify for next round and we have to play better then our opponents," Shah said.
Shah said that Saurashtra have done well this season and missed a chance to grab full points against Rajasthan in the previous match. "We had gone for outright win against Rajasthan while chasing nearly 300 runs but lost a couple of wickets that pushed us on the backfoot," he said. Saurashtra would miss the services of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been doing national duty.
Sagar Jogiyani and Nayan Doshi have been ruled out for the crucial tie because of injuries and Rahul Dave and Vishal Joshi have been included in the squad.
Saurashtra: Jaydev Shah, Rahul Dave, Sitanshu Kotak, Cheteshwar Pujara, Arpit Vasavada, Jaydev Unadkat, Kamlesh Makwana, Sandip Maniar, Chirag Jani, Sheldon Jackson, Siddharth Trivedi, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Chirag Pathak, Saurya Sanandiya and Vishal Joshi.
Madhya Pradesh: Devendra Bundela (Capt), Naman Ojha, Jalaj Saxena, Udit Birla, Harpreetsingh Bhatia, Rameez Khan, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Anand Rajan, Satyam Chaudhary, Amarjeet Singh, Zafer Ali, Gaurav Yadav, Ajay Rajput and Rahul Bakshi.