UP aim to make the most as key trio will miss next round
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If their recent performances are any indicator, hosts Uttar Pradesh enjoy a clear edge over Haryana in their Group B Ranji Trophy match at Lucknow beginning from Saturday. However, despite leading the Group with 20 points, UP cannot afford to take the match lightly because the group is still wide open and important players like Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will not be available for the team's next outing as they have been selected in the team for the Twenty20 matches against England.
Chawla is already on national duty playing in the Nagpur Test. This match will be a good opportunity for the players to impress the national selector Roger Binny who will be keeping a close watch on the players.
UP team skipper Suresh Raina also said the "character of the boys will come out during the match" and the team can play accordingly when the three will not be there. "We are looking forward to win session by session. We will not think much about the wicket but our performance. The first match against Delhi in which we registered an outright victory gave just the right start to our Ranji campaign. (Venkatesh) Prasad sir also says that we believe in action.
"The team has been doing well with two outright wins and we are looking forward to a good match. We will be missing Piyush in this match but we have good spinners in Ali Murtaza and Praveen Gupta. We have still to decide about who will be playing tomorrow. Pacers Ankit Rajpoot and Bhuvneshwar have been doing well. We are looking forward to winning this match. Bhuvi's selection for the T20 team shows that youngsters are rising."
Showing eagerness to play for Team India, Raina said with a smile, "Hopefully this will be my last Ranji match of the season." He said that even by performing in other formats of the game, he will be readying himself for the Tests.