Vadodara Jan 25 (PTI) Defending champions West Zone willhave their task cut out against a young North Zone team in theabsence of star players like Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma andParthiv Patel as the square off in the Duleep Trophysemi-final which will start at the Motibag ground fromtomorrow.
Incidentally, it was Yusuf''s magnificent double hundredthat helped West win the final against South Zone last yeardespite Dinesh Karthik scoring centuries in both innings.
However, West led by Jaffer is confident of winning itbecause of presence of the Saurashtra duo of Ravindra Jadejaand Cheteshwar Pujara who will be eager to perform well.
Apart from Jadeja and Pujara, the West will also depend alot on local boys like batsman Kedar Devdhar, pacer MurtuzaVahora, wicketkeeper batsman Pinal Shah. Not to forgetleft-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt who emerged as the highestwicket-taker this season including a five-for in the Ranjifinals.
"The team consists of young players and is determined todo well despite absence of stars. We have a good leader inWasim as he has led the team for the past three years,"coach-cum manager Pandurang Salgaokar said.
The North Zone team will primarily depend on its bowlers.
The Delhi new-ball duo of Pawan Suyal and Sumit Narwal will beexpected to make inroads in the opposition line-ups thatboasts of domestic heavyweights like Jaffer, Ajinkya Rahane,Sahil Kukreja. Skipper Amit Mishra will certainly hope that heputs up a good show with India supposed to play 14 Testmatches after World Cup.
The North Zone team''s batting will largely depend onDelhi duo of Mithun Manhas and Shikhar Dhawan. Punjab''swicketkeeper batsman Uday Kaul is also expected to do well.
West Zone: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Kedar Devdhar, RavindraJadeja, Sahil Kukreja, Ajinkya Rahane, Sangram Atitkar,Murtuza Vahora, Bhargav Bhatt, Samad Fallah, HarshadKhadiwale, Shrikant Mundhe, Cheteshwar Pujara, Pinal Shah,Jaidev Unadkat
North Zone: Amit Mishra (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, JoginderSharma,Uday Kaul, Mithun Manhas, Nitin Saini, Pawan Suyal,Rishi Dhawan, Paras Dogra, Sarul Kanwar, Mandeep Singh,SumitNarwal,Vikas Mishra,Yashpal Singh, Suraj Yadav.