Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Sr. Domestic season 2014-15 Preview

The 2014-15 one day season will begin on the 6th of December at various venues across the country. For a look at the teams and fixtures,  have a look at my previous post (Plate division group A fixtures have changed since then, with the reintroduction of Rajasthan). The format is unchanged from last year. 
Elite Division Champions Railways have strengthened their squad with the addition of  current internationals Harmanpreet Kaur, Poonam Yadav, besides Priyanka Roy, and Shravanti Naidu. The Elite A pool could well be called the Group of Death. Giving Railways company, are Jhulan Goswami led Bengal,  who won the plate division last year, and whose U19 team recently lifted the national championship.  Then there is Hyderabad,  who are led by a new young captain, M. Shalini.  They ran Railways close in both their T20 encounters last year, and will look to go one better this time. And lastly Uttar Pradesh , last year's runner's up, and Delhi, who will be bolstered by the return of veteran Reema Malhotra. 
Elite group B also promises some close encounters,  with four of the five teams more or less equal in strength, boasting at least one player who has represented India. Underdogs Tripura will be keen to spring a surprise or two as well. 18 year old Smriti Mandhana will lead Maharashtra for the first time in the one day format, and will look to establish her captaincy credentials. Her young team also includes the U19 season's highest run scorer Devika Vaidya, and highest wicket taker, 15 year old Maya Sonawane.
In the Plate division, there are never any clear favourites, and all teams will hotly contest for the top spot in their pools, as this could mean a chance for promotion into the Elite Division next season. Shikha Pandey and Thirushkamini, fresh from strong performances in the recent home series against the Proteas, will look to carry that form into the domestic season. Their teams, Goa and Tamil Nadu respectively, along with Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are the teams I would watch out for. Karnataka in particular, with Veda Krishnamurthy returning to their ranks, will be hard pressed not to reach the last two.

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