In-form wicket-keeper-batsman Ishan Kishan would be the cynosure of all eyes when India Red lock horn against India Green in the final of the Duleep Trophy, beginning at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday.
The five-day final, to be telecast live, will be played with pink ball and under lights.
The 21-year old Jharkhand cricketer, who is among the wicket-keepers in focus for national duty, has been in impressive form in recent times. He shone for India 'A' in the first three matches of the unofficial ODI series against the visiting South Africa 'A' team.
Kishan's performance will be watched with interest, especially after the national selectors have hinted at managing Rishabh Pant's workload with a long international season at home ahead.
After featuring in three matches for India 'A' vs SA 'A', Kishan will be joining the 'Red' for the summit clash.
The Red team, led by prolific Gujarat opener Priyank Panchal, has been well served by out-of-favor India batsman Karun Nair, who has a ton and two 90-plus scores while the talented, young Rajasthan batter Mahipal Lomror cracked a ton in the final league encounter against 'Green'.
Himachal batsman Ankit Kalsi too scored a ton in the game against India Blue and would look to continue his good form. Panchal will be expecting all his in-form batsmen to score big runs in the summit clash.
Avesh Khan did the star turn in the encounter against 'Green', though with the bat, as his blistering knock helped the team secure a one-run lead. The 22-year old Madhya Pradesh pacer had taken four wickets to help India Red gain the crucial lead against 'Blue' in their previous game.
Along with the experienced Jaydev Unadkat, Kerala pacer Sandeep Warrier and Varun Aaron, on a comeback trail, Avesh will pose a stiff challenge to the India Green batting line-up.
For India Green, led by Vidarbha's two-time Ranji Trophy-winning skipper Faiz Fazal, Akshath Reddy been among runs but others would have to step up if the team has to put up a challenge against a strong India Red side.
Leg-spinner Mayank Markande has replaced Rahul Chahar for the final and he will be part of an attack that would include the ever-improving Ankit Rajpoot, Tanveer ul-Haq and off-spinner Akshay Wakhare.
The weather hasn't been so kind in these part of India so far, with the first two matches being affected by rain.
India Red: Priyank Panchal (captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Axar Patel, Mahipal Lomror, Karun Nair, Akshay Wakhare, Varun Aaron, Aditya Sarvate, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Avesh Khan, Ankit R Kalsi, Sandeep Warrier, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (WK).
India Green: Faiz Fazal (captain), Akshath Reddy, Dhruv Shorey, Siddhesh Lad, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Tanveer ul-Haq, Milind Kumar, Priyam Garg, Akshdeep Nath, Ankit Rajpoot, Akshath Reddy, Akshay Wadkar (WK), Rajesh Mohanty, Mayank Markande, Jayant Yadav.
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