Abhinav Mukund

Ranji Trophy: Ashwin boost for Tamil Nadu in the tournament opener


Internet Desk: After not getting a chance in the T-20 series against Australia, star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have been picked for the 15-men Ranji Trophy squad for Tamil Nadu today. Except him India’s Test opener Murali Vijay too gets a chance in the squad who is returning from an injury. Tamil Nadu will face Andhra Pradesh in the season opener which is starting on Friday.

Abhinav Mukund led Tamil Nadu will miss the services of star wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik and all-rounder Vijay Shankar.

Karthik is with the Indian team which will play the T-20 series against the Aussies on the other hand Shankar is in the Board President's XI squad who will lock horns with New Zealand.

The team includes exciting all-rounder Washington Sundar, who has impressed with his recent performances including in the Duleep Trophy final.

Baba Indrajith, who scored a double ton on his Duleep Trophy debut, would be Mukund's deputy.

The team also features aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan and another wicketkeeper in R Rohith, who shone in the recent Tamil Nadu Premier League.

In the absence of T Natarajan and Aswin Crist due to fitness issues, the pace attack would be led by K Vignesh, who did well in his debut season with 30-plus wickets as Tamil Nadu made the semifinals.

L Vignesh and V Lakshman are the other pacemen named in the squad.

With the wicket at the M A Chidambaram Stadium likely to assist the spinners, the selectors have picked three specialists apart from Ashwin and Washington Sundar.

"It is a good team. We have a mix of experience and youth. The availability of Ashwin and Vijay is certain to bolster the squad," Chairman of selectors Sridharan Sharath told PTI.

Left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore and Lakshman, who had done well in the local league, have also been picked.

"Not having Vijay Shankar is a big miss. But we have Ashwin, Washington Sundar and other all-rounders in the squad," Sharath said.

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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