CHENNAI : After successfully leading Tamil Nadu in age-group formats, the senior selection committee of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) named Baba Indrajith as the captain for the upcoming Ranji Trophy.The middle-order batsman takes over the reins from opener Abhinav Mukund at a time when Tamil Nadu is looking to start afresh after a disappointing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
S Sharath, chairman of the selection panel, revealed that it was the right time to hand over the responsibility to Indrajith, who had been groomed for the role over the last couple of seasons.“He was the unanimous choice because in Vijay Shankar, we thought we have a good captain for limited-over formats. Considering his workload, we believe that Indrajith will be the right candidate for the long format,” said Sharath.
“He has showed time and again with his batting that he is not averse to taking responsibilities. His temperament stands out.” Indrajith said that it is a huge honour to lead the side, and he is aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
First up will be addressing the concerns of Tamil Nadu’s bowling unit, which is short on pace options.First-choice speedsters Aswin Crist, T Natarajan and K Vignesh, who are all nursing injuries, are unlikely to be available for the first round or even second round of Ranji fixtures. That makes his job even more challenging when the selectors name the squad on Wednesday.
Sharath termed the frequency with which the state side’s pacers have picked up injuries as frustrating, given that Tamil Nadu have not been able to field a full-strength side for over two seasons now.Even during this Vijay Hazare Trophy, the side had to miss the services of several first-choice players because of injuries. Indrajith believed that addressing it will be the first and foremost area of concern.
“We always talk about winning Ranji Trophy. But it isn’t easy without following a due process. We are blessed to have outstanding talent in batting, but our bowling is work in progress. Apart from (M) Mohammed, the rest are injured. We need to build an attack that will sustain itself throughout this season,” Indrajith told Express.
“We need to identify and build a side not just for this season, but at least for a couple. Unless we put the process up front, we won’t be able to go the distance.” Though Tamil Nadu have shifted to a new captain, Indrajith believes that with head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar still around, it will help him in continuing the processes that were started a couple of seasons ago.
“We have been working towards building a strong team and they will be carrying forward the same process this season. We have all our international players available at least for November. If we can get a good start, it will give us a lot of confidence.“Tamil Nadu has been consistently providing players to the Indian team. However, we need to learn how to play as a team. That is what we are looking to achieve this season.” firstname.lastname@example.org