Indian domestic cricket September 4, 2008

Sehwag to lead Delhi in Nissar Trophy

Cricinfo staff

Virender Sehwag will lead a strong Delhi squad for their clash against Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in the third edition of the Mohammad Nissar Trophy, starting September 15 at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The match is an annual fixture between the first-class champions of Pakistan and India, with Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai being previous winners.

Delhi's 15-member squad has seven players with international experience, including opener Gautam Gambhir and fast bowler Ishant Sharma. However, in-form batsman Shikhar Dhawan failed to make the cut due to a hairline fracture on his right thumb. Aditya Jain and allrounder Sumit Narwal were omitted from the squad that took part in last year's Ranji final.

Ashish Nehra, the left-arm seamer who did not get a game in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season, makes a comeback after recovering from an ankle injury. He was picked up by the Mumbai Indians IPL franchise and performed reasonably in the Twenty20 tournament, taking 12 wickets in 14 appearances at an average of 29.

Nehra, though, was cautious about his prospects for the match. "I am not expecting to return to the scene with a five-for in my comeback match," he told the Indian Express. "My aim is to bowl 15 overs and get a couple of wickets and see how to gather my rhythm at the crease.

"The good thing is, I am feeling great with all the technical aspects of my bowling - my swing, pace, line and length are coming along okay," he said. "So it's just about my body feeling okay after having bowled over long spells."

Even though he had played the last of his 17 Tests in 2004, Nehra had still given not up hopes of playing for India again. "I still have a good four to five years of cricket left in me. It's up to the selectors to take a call on me," he said. "There's so much cricket happening all through the year and it gives everyone a chance. My job is to bowl well and line up there in the queue."

Squad: Virender Sehwag (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Aakash Chopra, Mayank Tehlan, Mithun Manhas, Virat Kohli, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht (wk), Ishant Sharma, Pradeep Sangwan, Ashish Nehra, Chetanya Nanda, Amit Bhandari, Narender Singh, Gaurav Chhabra