Gujarat on top after dull day’s cricket
Rujul Bhatt’s 150 helps hosts declare on 513 for 8 on the second day of their game against Punjab
An elegant middle-order batsman, Venugopal Rao's greatest achievement came in first-class cricket, when he scored an unbeaten 228 for South Zone in the fourth innings while chasing England A's seemingly unconquerable 501. That came two days before his 22nd birthday, shooting him into national contention. However, he hasn't managed to quite meet those peaks since then, and hasn't played an international match since 2006. The right-handed batsman, who modelled himself along the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, and can bowl a fairly troublesome right-arm off-break, made his one-day debut against Sri Lanka at Dambulla in 2005. He went on to play 16 matches for the national team but failed to seal a spot, managing only one half-century in a loss against Pakistan. Rao has had a fairly successful domestic career though, and is closing in on a 100 first class matches and 6000 runs, including 13 centuries. He has also skippered the India A side against the A sides of Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan in 2006. His domestic side is Andhra Pradesh and he was included in the Deccan Chargers team for the first three seasons of the IPL, and enjoyed some success with them too. In the 2011 player auctions, he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for a hefty US$ 700,000.