The ongoing edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy is proving to be a crucial tournament not just from its standalone point of view but with an eye on the upcoming IPL 2024 auction and building a young group of players keeping in mind the Champions Trophy 2025 and then the World Cup 2027. The likes of Sanju Samson, Urvil Patel, Devdutt Padikkal and Siddharth Kaul have been simply sensational for their teams. Now adding his name to the list is Himachal Pradesh pacer Arpit Guleria, who registered the best figures by a bowler in this edition of the tournament.
Released by Lucknow Super Giants, Guleria played just three games before the final group-stage match for Himachal. After Urvil Patel and Priyank Panchal’s 211-run partnership ended in the 33rd over, it was all Guleria after that. Chirag Gandhi’s quickfire 42 helped Gujarat get to a score beyond 300 but Guleria cleaned up the rest of the batters with Mayank Dagar and Rishi Dhawan picking up the remaining two wickets.
Guleria ended up with the figures of 8/50 but despite that Gujarat got to a huge score of 327. Himachal gave a valiant fight with Prashant Chopra scoring 96 and Sumeet Verma smashing a 47-ball 82 but fell short by just eight runs. Himachal fell to their third loss in Group D and it seems they are out of the competition.
However, Guleria personally will be chuffed with his performance as he might have added a crore or two to his auction price. Guleria was signed by the Super Giants as a replacement player for Mayank Yadav. While Yadav was retained, the Himachal pacer was let go of by the Lucknow side and with local fast bowlers set to be in demand at the auction in Dubai on December 19, Guleria might have thrown his name in the mix.
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