CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu selection committee chairman S Sharath is confident of a better show from the Baba Indrajith led-side in Ranji Trophy. His confidence stems from the fact that players have learnt from their mistakes in this Vijay Hazare Trophy. That, and the availability of all six international players from the state for the initial rounds is a big boost for the team. “We have a good side, which has been picked keeping in mind the format. We have covered all bases. I expect a good show,” said Sharath. “Having said that, all teams in our group are strong. It all boils down to how quickly the boys transition from white ball to red ball. They have done this before. I think that shouldn’t be a problem.”
New skipper Indrajith has a tough job on his hands, but Sharath feels that the young right-hander will be up to the task.“He is a level-headed player and a good thinker. He has been in the state team for a while, and he knows the pressure that goes with the job. He should do well. All players are professionals, and they know how to go about with their job.”
N Jagadeesan has been in good form with the bat since Tamil Nadu Premier League, and he’d been keeping wickets for the state in Dinesh Karthik’s absence. With the latter coming back, it could serve as an opportunity for Jagadeesan to be in the mix as a batsman. “Jagadeesan has the potential to play as a batsman. He is a floater, and he can slot into both the top and middle-order. It is up to the team management to make the best use of him,” revealed Sharath.
Speedsters R Rohit and S Abhishek Tanwar are the new names in the squad. A depleted pace-bowling department has been an area of concern for Tamil Nadu over the past two years. Injuries have thrust responsibility on the shoulders of J Kousik and M Mohammed, and Sharath feels that the two new pacers will be able to step up to the plate in their debut season.
“Both Rohit and Abhishek are handy medium-pacers. They have done well in TNPL, especially in the last season. They will serve as a good foil to M Mohammed and J Kousik,” remarked Sharath. “For both Rohit and Abhishek, it will be a good learning experience. as they will get the opportunity to take the field with players of the calibre like R Ashwin and Murali Vijay.”
Team: Baba Indrajith (c), M Kaushik Gandhi, Abhinav Mukund, Murali Vijay, Vijay Shankar, Baba Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik, N Jagadeesan, MS Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, R Sai Kishore, Rahil Shah, M Mohammed, J Kousik, R Rohit, Abhishek Tanwar.