CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s Mr Dependable R Prasanna is delighted to be named captain for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season. The state selectors announced a 15-man squad for the first two games against Karnataka in Bangalore (Dec 7-10) and J&K in Dindugul (Dec 14-17).
Prasanna has led Tamil Nadu in the past in emergency, but this is the first time he has been made captain at the start of the season. “It’s a great honour to lead Tamil Nadu. This will spur me to give my best and we will try as a team to play better than we did last season,” said the left-handed batsman.
Is he satisfied with the team, which appears to be stronger in batting? “It’s a super list. I’m satisfied with the team. It has the right mixture of experience and youth,” said Prasanna. “I don’t think it’s loaded with batsmen. We have four medium pacers (L Balaji, M Mohammed, J Kaushik, T Natarajan) and two spinners (Malolan Rangarajan, R Aushik Srinivas). We have two all-rounders in B Aparajith and Vijay Shankar, so it’s a balanced side,” added the skipper.
Prasanna, who is a good fielder, believes the new side has covered this aspect. “The team has covered all areas, fielding too. We have good slip catchers and close-in fielders in Aparajith, Indrajith, myself, Abhinav (Mukund). I’m completely satisfied with the team and as captain, I can’t complain,” added Prasanna.
On the choice of T Natarajan over Prashanth Parameswaran, who moved over from Kerala, Prasanna said, “I can’t comment on selection. Natarajan is a left-arm medium pacer and lends variety to the attack. He is deceptive and can be handy,” opined Prasanna. Does Dinesh Karthik’s prolonged slump in form with the bat a cause for worry? “Not at all. He’s a brilliant cricketer and playing beautifully in the nets. I believe he’s just one innings away from striking form,” insisted Prasanna.
How will he handle the three former captains — Balaji, Karthik and Abhinav — who happen to be Test cricketers? “I get along well with all of them on and off the field,” said the captain.
Tamil Nadu open against Karnataka, who are in top form. Will Tamil Nadu’s poor show in the one-dayers have an impact? “Karnataka is good side. It’s early to talk of strategies. All I would tell the players is be positive,” signed off Prasanna.
R Prasanna (captain), Abhinav Mukund, M Kaushik Gandhi, B Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik, B Indrajith, Malolan Rangarajan, L Balaji, M Mohammed, J Kaushik, R Aushik Srinivas, Vijay Shankar, U Sushil, T Natarajan, M Shahrukh Khan.