Aditya K Halder New DelhiFebruary 4, 2019UPDATED: February 4, 2019 13:10 IST Jonty Sidhu made his Ranji Trophy debut for Delhi against Andhra in early December last year. (@jontysidhu_official Photo)Placed in the bottom three of their group, Delhi’s performance this season doesn’t exude much confidence but a closer look at the team shows the Ranji side has built a team of young Turks while key players were away representing national colours.Team’s pivot Rishabh Pant and Nitish Rana were away on national duties and Gautam Gambhir said goodbye to cricket midway through the season, the void left was filled by young but confident names in Anuj Rawat, Jonty Sidhu, Hiten Dalal, Shivank Vashisht among others.Left-arm spinner Sivank shined with a six-for on his debut while wicket-keeper Anuj scored a century against Madhya Pradesh, filling the big shoes of Pant. However, former Indian under-19 skipper Jonty was arguably the best among the lot as he showed consistency with his bat.The 21-year-old lanky left-hander, who prefers a high bat lift, very similar to that of his idol Yuvraj Singh, said he rues the fact that he made his debut in the match right after Delhi played Punjab.”I was delighted to make my debut against Andhra but it would have been great to make my debut a match earlier (against Punjab) as I would have got to play against my favourite player Yuvraj Singh. I have been his fan since I learnt to lift the bat,” Jonty told Mail Today.Jonty managed a decent 30 in his first innings against Andhra in early December last year which was also coincidentally the last game for Gambhir.His debut was followed by a fighting 41 against Kerala (highest by any Delhi batsman in the game) on a turning track when the side’s batting collapsed in both the innings and faced an embarrassing innings defeat in Trivandrum.advertisementThe southpaw kept getting better as he missed on a century with a gritty 85 at the Eden Gardens against Bengal (again team’s top-scorer in the match). Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as Delhi crashed to a defeat after Bengal chased down 323 on the final day.The former India under-19 skipper didn’t have to wait long for his maiden ton as he played an unbeaten 140 against Tamil Nadu to end the season on a high. The knock came at a time when Delhi were reeling at 49 for 4.”Scoring the century was such a relief. It gave me the sense of security as far as my spot in the playing XI is concerned. When I walked in to bat, I told myself that if I don’t score today then I don’t deserve to be in the team. Putting a prize on my wicket did the trick I guess,” said Jonty.His team will need the same mentality and consistency yet again as Delhi will be defending their title at the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy later this month.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Jonty SidhuFollow DelhiFollow Ranji Trophy Jonty Sidhu, Delhi’s find of the seasonFormer Indian U-19 skipper Jonty Sidhu has found a solid place in Delhi’s Ranji Trophy team.advertisement
Mumbai: The Indian selectors — led by M.S.K. Prasad — finally decided to address the number four conundrum when they sat down to pick the squad for the West Indies tour on Sunday. After struggling through the World Cup without a fixed number four, the five wise men have decided to give Shreyas Iyer a go. Considered as one of the best batting units in the modern era, India failed to produce a number four batsman going into the 2019 World Cup and the tour of West Indies now provides the selectors the perfect opportunity to try and solve the issue with an eye on the 2023 World Cup. Also Read – Fast bowler Behrendorff to undergo spinal surgeryWhile the selectors decided to ignore Iyer for the World Cup, the ploy of experimenting at that position flopped. Coming into the Windies series, it was always going to be a competition between Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer for that position. Both the batsmen are currently in the West Indies with the India ‘A’ team and have been among runs. Interestingly, skipper Manish Pandey also hit a century in the series, but he is seen more as a number five or six than a number four in the batting line-up. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSpeaking on Gill’s exclusion, Prasad said: “He was given an opportunity when K.L. Rahul was out against New Zealand, he will have to wait for his turn.” Batting coach Sanjay Bangar came under the scanner for failing to produce a number four batsman ahead of the showpiece event despite being with the team for quite some time now. Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that the constant chopping and changing in the middle-order was something that had hurt the Indian team not just in the World Cup, but over the last couple of seasons. And for Bangar to not be able to find a solution is something that reflects poorly on the coach. “It was a constant struggle,” the official said. “While we are all supportive of the players and they had a good tournament with the exception of this bad day in office (in the semi-final against New Zealand), the support staff’s processes and decision-making will surely be scrutinised thoroughly prior to any decision being taken about their future. “The batting coach must have answers for the number 4 question since it is obvious that it was the team management that was asking for certain players to be included.” The Windies tour will provide Prasad and team a chance to try out youngsters in pivotal positions and ensure that the foundation laid is strong with an eye on the 2023 World Cup.