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Cheteshwar Pujara to lead Rest of India in Irani Trophy against Gujarat

Cheteshwar Pujara of India
Cheteshwar Pujara of India. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Following Gujarat’s maiden Ranji Trophy triumph under the able leadership of Parthiv Patel, the Rest of India squad was announced for the upcoming Irani Trophy from 20th January at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The team consists of some big names, none bigger than captain Cheteshwar Pujara.

The Saurashtra batsman who is an integral part of the Indian middle-order in the longest format of the game will look to get some match practice ahead of the one-off Test against Bangladesh and a 4-match Test series against Australia. Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund and Mumbai opener Akhil Herwadkar are the openers of the team followed by captain Pujara.

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Both Mukund and Herwadkar had impressive seasons for their respective states. Karnataka’s Karun Nair who recently rewrote history by becoming the 1st Indian to convert his maiden century into a triple century against England will occupy the No.4 slot.

Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha who is an integral part of the Bengal team has also been included which will also provide Saha the opportunity to fine tune his skills ahead of the Test series against Bangladesh and Australia. He missed the last 3 Tests against India after sustaining a thigh strain during the 2nd Test.

Also read: Gujarat vs Mumbai, Ranji Trophy Final – 5 Talking Points

The reserve wicketkeeper in the team will be Jharkhand’s Ishan Kishan who has impressed one and all with his exploits in the Ranji Trophy. His teammate left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem who was the leading wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy will occupy the spinner’s slot with chinaman Uttar Pradesh Kuldeep Yadav who followed up an impressive domestic season with a great game against England representing India A.

Rajasthan skipper and fast bowler Pankaj Singh will lead the bowling attack with Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur. Tamil Nadu allrounder K. Vignesh and Punjab’s Siddharth Kaul will be the other medium pacers in the team. Despite the Rest of Indian team looking solid on paper, it will be difficult to upstage a resurgent Gujarat side who has played some wonderful cricket in the Ranji.

ROI Team for Irani Trophy:

Abhinav Mukund (Tamil Nadu), Akhil Herwadkar (Mumbai), Cheteshwar Pujara (C) (Saurashtra), Karun Nair (Karnataka), Manoj Tiwary (Bengal), Wriddhiman Saha (Bengal), Kuldeep Yadav (Uttar Pradesh), Shahbaz Nadeem (Jharkhand), Pankaj Singh (Rajasthan), K Vignesh (Tamil Nadu), Siddarth Kaul (Punjab), Shardul Thakur (Mumbai), Akshay Wakhare (Vidarbha), Ishan Kishan (Jharkhand) and Prashant Chopra (Himachal Pradesh)

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