The Rest of India to face Ranji Trophy winners Karnataka in the Irani Trophy Match at Bengaluru has been announced. Bengal captain Manoj Tiwari was named as the skipper of the side that does not have the likes of Team India dropouts Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh. Even the current members from the Test Team Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay were ignored along with pacers Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey and Ashok Dinda.
Naman Ojha was picked as the wicket-keeper ahead of second leading run scorer in the tournament Dinesh Karthick. Punjab’s Jiwanjot Singh and Delhi’s Unmukt Chand are the openers with the likes of Himachal Pradesh’s Paras Dogra, Tiwary, Maharashtra’s Kedar Jadhav and Tamil Nadu’s Baba Aparajith making the cut as batsmen in the squad.
Vijay Shankar, who was one of the finds of the tournament was rewarded for his consistent performances for Tamil Nadu this season. He along with Rishi Dhawan (Himachal Pradesh) and Jalaj Saxena (Madhya Pradesh) will be the All-Rounders while Varun Aaron (Jharkand), Shradhul Thakur (Mumbai) and Rush Kalaria (Gujarat) are the three pacers. Pragyan Ojha (Hyderabad) is the specialist spinner in the squad.
Some consistent performers in the season which includes Tamil Nadu’s Baba Indrajith and Abhinav Mukund, Andhra’s KS Bharat and D Siva Kumar, Assam’s Swarupam Purkayastha, Mumbai’s Shreyas Iyer, Maharashtra’s Samad Fallah and Saurashtra’s Sheldon Jackson were left out of the 15 member squad.
Squad: Unmukt Chand, Jiwanjot Singh, Paras Dogra, Manoj Tiwary(c), Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha(wk), Rishi Dhawan, J Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron, Rush Kalaria, Baba Aparajith, Jalaj Saxena and Vijay Shankar.
Possible Playing XI: Jalaj Saxena, Unmukt Chand, Baba Aparajith, Naman Ojha, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Rishi Dhawan, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron and Pragyan Ojha.
Karnataka might miss the services of opener KL Rahul due to an injury which he incurred during the finals of the Ranji Trophy against Tamil Nadu. The 2015 Irani Trophy begins on 17 March 2015.
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