Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023, Preview: Reigning Champions Saurashtra Get Title Defence Underway Against Kerala

Jaydev Unadkat-led Saurashtra will get their Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 title defence underway with a match against Kerala, while runners-up Maharashtra will look to go one better this time around by starting positively against Jharkhand

Team Saurashtra

The 2023-24 Vijay Hazare Trophy gets underway on Thursday, with defending champions Saurashtra taking on Kerala at the KSCA Cricket Ground here. (Streaming | Full Coverage)

Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara will be under the spotlight along with skipper Jaydev Unadkat, who was Saurashtra's highest wicket-taker last season.

Samarth Vyas, the side's highest run-scorer last season, and wicketkeeper-batter Harvik Desai, the team's second-highest run-getter during their campaign in 2022-23 season, will also be closely watched.

Last season's runners-up Maharashtra will get their campaign underway versus Jharkhand in Jaipur.

With skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad on India duty for the upcoming T20Is against Australia, Maharashtra will likely be led by their T20 captain Kedar Jadhav.

As for the Maharashtra bowlers, Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Satyajeet Bachhav made an impact in the previous season and the team would be banking on them once again.

Also to watch out for would be Tamil Nadu's Narayan Jagadeesan, the tournament's top run-scorer during the previous season with an average of 138.33, along with B Sai Sudharsan.

Assam's Riyan Parag, who lit up the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this season emerging as the highest run-getter in the competition, is expected to carry his form into this event.

The group-stage encounters will take place between November 23 and December 5, which will be followed by preliminary quarterfinals (December 9), quarterfinals (December 11), semifinals (December 13-14) and the final on December 16.

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