The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20 has kicked off from today, September 24, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun. The tournament starts on September 24 and runs till October 25. The group stages will be played across four cities, with Bangalore, Baroda, and Jaipur hosting the Elite matches while Dehradun hosts the Plate games.
A total of 38 teams will participate in the tournament, split into four groups – Elite Group A, Elite Group B, Elite Group C, and the Plate Group. Top two teams from each group will progress through to the quarterfinals with the final to be played on October 25 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
The Duleep trophy marked the beginning of the Indian 2019-20 domestic season, which continues with the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the 50-over tournament. Many players will ply their trade in the competition to help their side lift the title.
Players to watch out for:
1. Shreyas Iyer:
He will lead Mumbai this season, having successfully led them to the title last year. Shreyas Iyer has cemented his spot in the limited-overs side with his consistent returns against West Indies. India made a change in their middle-order after the World Cup and Iyer grabbed the opportunities with both hands.
2. KL Rahul:
He will be the vice-captain of Karnataka for their first-three matches. Rahul has gone out of favour for the Tests, and even though he was in the limited-overs set-up, he played only one T20I across the tour of West Indies and the home series against South Africa. As Karnataka's vice-captain and at present available for possibly the full duration of the tournament, Rahul can re-establish his white-ball credentials.
3. Ambati Rayudu:
Rayudu is back, having revoked his retirement. He will play for Hyderabad. Rayudu has come out of a short retirement and been named the Hyderabad captain. Not being picked for the World Cup had cut up the batsman, but his 'retirement' didn't really cost him anything since he un-retired before the season began.
4. Robin Uthappa:
Uthappa has shifted to Kerala for this season. He will lead them in the limited-overs formats. After playing for Karnataka over a decade, Uthappa made a move to Saurashtra a couple of seasons back. Uthappa was troubled by injury last season, missing the Ranji Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Saurashtra. He even underwent surgery on his ankle in the UK before returning in time for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and then playing in the IPL with KKR. “I'm physically fit, I'm happy,” he said.
5. Manish Pandey:
Manish Pandey will bear the responsibility of leading the Karnataka. Manish Pandey made a comeback to the Indian team right after the World Cup in the series against West Indies. But the senior player has failed to grab his opportunities and lost his place in the playing XI to Shreyas Iyer.