Duleep Trophy 2006 - West Zone Squad

Mumbai: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Rohit Sharma, Amol Muzumdar, Vinit Indulkar, Zaheer Khan
Maharashtra: Dheeraj Jadhav, Sairaj Bahutule, SR Burkul
Gujarat: Parthiv Patel (vice capt), Sidharth Trivedi
Saurashtra: Cheteshwar Poojara, Ravindra Jadeja, SM Maniar
Baroda: Kiran Powar, Rajesh Pawar

Openers: Wasim Jaffer, Dheeraj Jadhav, Cheteshwar Poojara
Wasim Jaffer is the captain. Just about a season ago, Dheeraj Jadhav was the first choice reserve opener in the senior side. It doesn't take long for fortunes to fluctuate. Jadhav scored 500+ runs at a 50+ average last Ranji season and he would be keen on making good use of this tournament. Saurashtra's Poojara is the third opener. He was the best batsman on view in the under-19 world cup earlier this year. He was part of the A team that played the Top-End series down under, but he didn't get too many opportunities there to prove his mettle. He is still very young and it would be interesting to see how fares this domestic season.

Middle Order: Rohit Sharma, Amol Muzumdar, Vinit Indulkar, Kiran Powar
Rohit Sharma's stock has had a huge surge in recent months and it is upto him to maintain it up there during the coming season. If Suresh Raina continues to fail utilizing his chances at the international level, Rohit might be the one to replace him. And for that to happen, Rohit needs to back his claims with some solid consistent performances at the domestic level. Mumbai's Vinit Indulkar made his first class debut a couple of seasons ago and was once touted to be the next great "kar". He has managed to make just 2 tons in 17 games and that is definitely not enough to make the national selectors sit up and notice him. Amol Muzumdar and Kiran Powar are both 30+ and bring in a great deal of experience to the middle order. They might secretly nurture hopes of doing a Hussey and debuting at a late age, but India isn't Australia and I'm sure they realize it.

Wicket Keeper:
Parthiv Patel
He is easily the best keeper from the Zone. No surprises there.

Seamers:
Zaheer Khan, Sidharth Trivedi, Suyash Burkul,Sandip Maniar
Zaheer Khan would really be hoping to play more international cricket and less domestic cricket this season and the Duleep Trophy would be a good platform to try and convince the selectors to pick him for the South African tour. Sidharth Trivedi was one of the stars of the 2002 under-19 world cup and has been fairly consistent at the domestic level in recent seasons. A former Border-Gavaskar scholarship winner, Trivedi picked up 37 wickets last Ranji season at just 15.94 apiece. His Ranji performance won him a place in the A side that played in the Top End series. There is way too much competition in the seamers category in India these days and Sidharth might be way down in the selectors' list of reserve seamers, but he sure would want to believe that he is just one good season away from breaking into the national squad. Saurashtra's 28 year old Sandip Maniar was one of the stars of last season's Ranji plate championship. 73 wickets in 16 first class games at just 21.69 is impressive, but bowling to batsmen of international class is probably a bit beyond his league at the moment. Suyash Burkul is probably in the side because he picked up 20 wickets in 7 Ranji games at an average of 23.15. His average is marginally better than Avishkar Salvi and Swapnil Hazare (both picked 20 odd wickets last season) and that seems to have been enough to get the preference.

Spinners:
Sairaj Bahutule, Ravindra Jadeja, Rajesh Pawar
Bahutule is there for his experience. Jadeja is yet to make his first class debut. He is seen as good ODI prospect and he hasn't really got any opportunities in the longer version so far. This season will show us all whether he has it in him to be better than Murali Karthik. Rajesh Pawar had a decent year last season with his left-arm spinners, picking up 23 wickets at 22.56 apiece. He would probably be preferred over Jadeja in the starting XI.

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