The 2023 Duleep Trophy, which kickstarts the 2023/24 domestic season in India, has reached its semi-final stage. Here is how India hopefuls performed on Day 1.
Two matches – in Alur and Bengaluru – featuring four zonal teams, are currently underway. We have included players who have featured in the India team in the last two years, or whose names have been doing the rounds for Test selection.
Prithvi Shaw (West Zone)
Shaw looked to play out the morning session, holding off the new ball until left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar was brought into the attack. He then lobbed a catch to silly point, who somehow held on to it between his legs. An unhappy Shaw pointed at the ground and taking an eternity to leave.
Cheteshwar Pujara (West Zone)
Playing his first match since the World Test Championship final, after which he was dropped from the Test squad, Pujara dug even as the rest of West Zone’s middle order struggled to stay put. He looked in control for the most part, facing over a hundred deliveries before nicking behind to Shivam Mavi.
Suryakumar Yadav (West Zone)
A brief an uneventful stay in the middle for ‘SKY’: he nudged around with Pujara at the other end, before being caught in the slips.
Sarfaraz Khan (West Zone)
A forgettable stay in the middle for the man with a first-class average touching 80: he remained scoreless for 11 deliveries before playing on in an attempt to leave the ball.
Shivam Mavi (Central Zone)
The Central Zone skipper was the pick of the bowlers of the day, gaining extra bounce and zip off the pitch on occasion and picking up three of the top five West Zone batters.
Avesh Khan (Central Zone)
A steady ally to his new-ball partner and captain Mavi, Avesh kept challenging batters with pace, even slipping in the odd bouncer. An unfortunate collision with teammate Rinku Singh meant that he spend the second half of the day on the bench.
Mayank Agarwal (South Zone)
On an overcast day that included bad light and passing showers, Agarwal held fort for South Zone at his home ground, even as his teammates came and went by fast, ending the day unbeaten.
Washington Sundar (South Zone)
As the second spinner, Sundar was a tad expensive, picking up Harshit Rana to end an annoying ninth-wicket stand in a 198-run total.