Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat on Monday won the toss and opted to bat first against Bengal in the final match of Ranji Trophy 2019-20 at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium (SCA) in Rajkot
Saurashtra, bolstered by the return of Cheteshwar Pujara, start as favourites but a spiritually motivated Bengal will know they have it in them to pull off an upset of sorts. Meanwhile, the addition of Wriddhiman Saha will boost the strength of Bengal’s batting lineup and will provide a safe pair of hands behind the stumps.
Notably, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is not playing for his Ranji team Saurashtra as BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has denied him the permission to feature in the final of India’s most reputed domestic level tournament, says report.
During the final match between Bengal and Saurashtra, which is slated to be played from March 9 to 13, India will be playing South Africa at home which probably stopped Ganguly from giving Jadeja the nod as the Gujarat cricketer is a valuable asset for the Men in Blue.
Saurashtra beat Gujarat in a tense semifinal to reach here while Bengal stunned Karnataka in the last-four clash.
While Saurashtra reached their fourth final in eight seasons, Bengal have not won the competition since the 1989-90 when their head coach Arun Lal was part of the team.
Riding on a brilliant 149 from Anustup Majumdar, Bengal had thrashed Karnataka by 174 runs.
Here are the Playing XIs of both the teams:
Saurashtra: Harvik Desai, Avi Barot (w), Cheteshwar Pujara, Vishvaraj Jadeja, Sheldon Jackson, Arpit Vasavada, Chirag Jani, Prerak Mankad, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Jaydev Unadkat (c), Chetan Sakariya
Bengal: Abhimanyu Easwaran (c), Sudip Kumar Gharami, Sudip Chatterjee, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha (w), Anustup Majumdar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Arnab Nandi, Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar, Ishan Porel
(With inputs from IANS)