Kolkata : Ishant Sharma’s fitness will be put to test even as selectors will also keep an eye on comeback- man Gautam Gambhir as a strong Delhi side take on a depleted Karnataka in their Ranji Trophy cricket match today.
It will also be a homecoming for Gambhir when the two-time IPL-winning Kolkata Knight Riders take field at Eden Gardens.
Viral fever, Chikungunya had forced gangling Ishant out of the three-Test series against New Zealand and he will be keen to make an impression ahead of the series against England.
Former champions Karnataka will wear a depleted look as skipper R Vinay Kumar has joined Lokesh Rahul in the injury list and youngster Karun Nair has been named captain to lead the side for the first time in Ranji Trophy.
It presents Delhi a good chance to consolidate their place atop the standings in Group B. Vinay suffered the injury in their match against Jharkhand in Greater Noida. He could bowl just 2.3 overs and either left-arm pacer S Arvind or youngster Ronit More is expected to be roped into the playing XI.
Delhi had beaten Assam by an innings and 93 runs in their Ranji opener en route to log seven points with bonus in Vadodara. They had to settle for one point against Maharashtra conceding first innings lead in a run-glut in Mumbai in the last match. Left-handed wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been in ominous form with his knocks of 308 and 146 to lead the run charts, while Gambhir’s presence on his familiar territory will make the Delhi batsman feel at ‘home’.