CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu senior state selection committee led by S Vasudevan has named Vijay Shankar as the captain for the Ranji Trophy team. Washington Sundar has been named as his deputy for the matches to be played at Ahmedabad.
Dinesh Karthik, who had scored a century in the final of the Vijay Hazare, has not been named in the squad along with mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Abhinav Mukund and M Vijay have not been part of the TN squad for the last two seasons.
"Dinesh Karthik has written to the TNCA not to consider him for red-ball cricket. Varun Chakaravarthy has not yet fully recovered from injury so he is also not in the team,'' informed RS Ramasaamy, secretary of the TNCA.
Those who did well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare Trophy have been given a chance in the 20-member squad.
"It's a balanced team with the right amount of experience and youth. We have added more youngsters this time into the squad as the team did well to win the Syed Mushtaq Ali and finished runners-up in the Vijay Hazare. Since many of the senior players are no longer available, keeping in mind the future we have picked the squad,'' said S Vasudevan, chairman of the selection committee.
Tamil Nadu has won the Ranji Trophy twice and on numerous occasions reached the final. S Vasudevan, who was the last TN captain to lift the Ranji Trophy in 1988, believes that the current squad has the potential to have a crack at the title.
"The current lot we have picked is very talented. They are all young and energetic and they should be able to win the Ranji Trophy as we have covered all the bases. Our strength is certainly the depth and quality in our batting. Our bowling attack is equally good. It all boils down to starting well and carrying forward the momentum,'' said Vasudevan.
Vijay Shankar, the Tamil Nadu skipper, is pleased with the team. He has already shown his prowess by winning the domestic T20 title and taking the team to the 50-over final. "The team is under transition and it is a huge responsibility for me to take the team forward. I will work and try hard to carry the good work we did in white-ball cricket to the red ball. The youngsters on the side are highly talented. Since we got to play two tournaments before the Ranji, we have been able to have a look at some of the youngsters. Also in the bio-bubble life during the two tournaments, we were like one family, and all of us bonded well. This will come in handy during the Ranji games,'' said Vijay.
Squad: Vijay Shankar (captain), MS Washington Sundar (vice-captain), B Indrajith, B Aparajith, N Jagadeesan, M Shahrukh Khan, B Sai Sudharsan, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, L Suryapprakash, M Kaushik Gandhi, V Ganga Sridhar Raju, Sandeep Warrier, M Mohammed, R Silambarasan, P Saravana Kumar, A Aswin Crist, L Vignesh, R Sai Kishore, M Siddharth, R Kavin.