I had predicted on the 21st of January the quarter finalists of the Ranji Trophy this year (2014-15). Here we look at the teams who are on track of going into quarter finals, after the completion of Round 7 that ended on 24 January 2015
Group A: In Group A, Karnataka are still at the top of the table despite getting only one point as they gave first innings lead and conceding 3 points to Baroda. They have 29 points to their credit and are yet to play 2 matches. The team has some good players who have represented the country like Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa, and Manish Pandey. Blessing in disguise as they say none of them were selected this time for national duty. At the second place at 23 points is Tamil Nadu gaining 7 points this round after defeating Mumbai by an innings and 44 runs. Their performance was brilliant in this match with Rahil Shah picking 7 wickets in the first innings and Baba Indejith scoring a century. In third place Baroda is placed at 18 points, followed by Railways with 13 points. Mumbai, has to win both of their remaining matches against Baroda and Karnataka to upset Baroda’s entry to quarter finals. Similarly Bengal has also to win next 2 matches against Railways & MP that appears to be favorable. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are out of contention of the quarter finals.
Group B: Delhi is sitting on top of the table with 31 points. They conceded 3 points after Maharashtra took the first innings lead. Delhi is benefiting from having top players like Schwas, Gambhir and Unmukt Chand who have not found place in national squads. At end of 7th round Maharashtra is at the second place with 19 points, followed by Punjab with 19 points, Rajasthan with 18 points. Vidarbha defeated Gujarat to take 6 points, as result of this they are on 17 points, Gujarat with 15 points, Harayana with 10 points. Sauarastra and Odisha are out of contention. For the second and third place it will be a tight finish between Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Vidarbha. Expect Maharashtra and Punjab to reach quarter finals. However the Group B promises to be a thrilling finish.
Group C: In Group C Assam are leading with 28 points after they beat Goa by 10 wickets. It is pleasing to note that such a new state to emerging as a strong contender in the tournament. The second place is occupied by Himachal Pradesh with 24 points, followed by Andhra with 22 points. HP or Andhra might sneak into quarter finals as they are neck to neck and have 2 matches each to play. All other teams in the group have no chances of qualifying into the group.