Delhi in a mess before Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy game

 Plagued by injuries to its top five pacers and axing of the team’s IPL star Nitish Rana, a shambolic Delhi will start as underdog in its own den against Tamil Nadu in a Ranji Trophy Group B clash here on Tuesday.

The team whose dressing room resembles a medical facility will face a full-strength Tamil Nadu side with the in-form pair of N Jagadeesan and Sai Sudharshan facing a real test in cold conditions at the Kotla. They will, however, have solid support from the Baba brothers — Aparajith and skipper Indrajith –, all-rounders Vijay Shankar and Washington Sundar along with seasoned pacer Sandeep Warrier.

Having lost to Maharashtra by nine wickets in the opening match and conceding a first-innings lead to Assam after scoring more than 400, Delhi is in dire straits having lost its entire pace-bowling attack to one injury or the other.

If Mayank Yadav tore his hamstring and veteran Ishant Sharma sustained a side strain, Navdeep Saini is in NCA with an abdominal muscle strain. Worse, the team’s most dependable pacer Simarjeet Singh has been ruled out in pacer-friendly conditions due to a heel injury.

Last season’s captain Pradeep Sangwan, who was initially dropped, is also out of the mix. The sixth one in the fray, Harshit Rana, is too raw and there is a possibility that Tuesday’s attack will comprise left-arm quick Kuldip Yadav, rookie pacers Prince Yadav and medium fast Divij Mehra.

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