Ranji Trophy 2017/18: Vijay, Ashwin To Play First Game, Abhinav Mukund Retained As Captain
Indian stars Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay will play the first Ranji game for Tamil Nadu against Andhra Pradesh. While the news was already confirmed a few days back, the selectors were waiting for BCCI to announce the squad for T20I series against Australia as if Ashwin would have been unavailable if he was selected for the series.
Indian opener Murali Vijay will be making his comeback to the first-class cricket after nearly five months. The last recognised game he played was a Test match against Australia at Dharamsala. He went on to miss the complete season of IPL due to a wrist injury and then also withdrew from Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka as he needed some more time to recover. He though got some match practice in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
Amidst the news of Vijay Shankar considered for captaincy, Abhinav Mukund has retained the job because Shankar has been selected for India A squad for the series against New Zealand A and will miss out on a couple of games.
In this case, selectors decided to retain Mukund as captain. Baba Indrajith has been elevated to the post of vice-captain and will be taking over as captain if Mukund is selected for the Test series against Sri Lanka.
The team will miss out on the services of experienced Dinesh Karthik, who has recently been selected for the three-match T20I series against Australia. He was surprisingly preferred over Rishab Pant.
The side includes likes of Baba Aprajith, Kaushik Gandhi, Malolan Rangarajan, Rahil Shah and young sensation Washington Sundar. The all-rounder recently impressed on his debut in Duleep Trophy and is a prospect to see. If he performs well in the season, then a national call-up may not be far away for him.
Though he has to maintain desired fitness level as recently, he had some issues with his fitness when he underwent a fitness test at National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.
Tamil Nadu will take on Andhra Pradesh in their opening game in Chennai from October 6 in a four-day match.
Squad: Abhinav Mukund (C), Baba Indrajith (VC), M Vijay, M Kaushik Gandhi, N Jagadeesan (WK), Baba Aparajith, MS Washington Sundar, Rahil S Shah, K Vignesh, R Ashwin, L Vignesh, R Sai Kishore, V Lakshman, R Rohith (WK) and Malolan Rangarajan.
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