Dindigul: The 2018-19 domestic season begins here today with the Duleep Trophy, which will provide a platform to the aspirants to shine and challenge the established names, who are away on national duties.
The tournament will be staged at the picturesque NPR College ground at Natham.
Three teams – India Red, India Blue and India Green – comprising a mix of experienced players and talented youngsters will battle it out in the 57th edition of the tournament, which would be played under lights with a pink ball.
While the three round-robin matches would be four-day affairs, the final, to be held from September 4, would be played over five days.
The first match is between India Green and defending champion India Red.
The tournament would serve as an opportunity for the players who have been part of the national squad at various points but find themselves on the fringes now.
For India Red captain Abhinav Mukund, a good performance would not only set the tone for the long season ahead but will also remind the selectors of his capabilities, considering that the Indian openers have had a tough in the ongoing Test series in England.
India Green skipper Parthiv Patel is another player trying to shine in the season-opening tournament, coming in the backdrop of injury to Test ‘keeper Wriddiman Saha and the unimpressive display by Dinesh Karthik in England.
There are others like Basil Thampi, who is yet to make his international debut for India but has been part of the T20 squad, Dhawal Kulkarni, Parvez Rasool and Rajnesh Gurbani, who starred in Vidarbha’s Ranji triumph last season.
There are three Tamil Nadu players, apart from Mukund, in the squads and the tournament presents them a chance to stake claim for higher honours.