Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Vijay Shankar set to join Tamil Nadu squad ahead of the next game

Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Vijay Shankar set to join Tamil Nadu squad ahead of the next game

Shankar was in New Zealand with India A side and will return now.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Tamil Nadu have made a lukewarm start to the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. The traditional heavyweights of India’s first-class competition had a disastrous Ranji Trophy campaign last season. Despite being one of the favourites, the two-time champions were knocked out of India’s premier tournament after the first round last year, finishing fourth in their group which had the likes of Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra, Tripura, Assam and Baroda.

They drew five out of their six matches, taking the first-innings lead in three of them, before losing their last group game against Baroda, ending the season without a single win under their belt. Consequently, they took some big calls ahead of the ongoing season. Tamil Nadu sacked Abhinav Mukund as skipper and named Baba Indrajith as a replacement.

Their current season is also panning out in the same fashion as they drew their first three games before losing to Bengal by one wicket in the fourth. However, Tamil Nadu’s received some much-needed boost when they thrashed Kerala by 151 runs to revive their hopes of making it to the next round. Courtesy of the win, Tamil Nadu are now fifth in the Elite Group B.

And just days after the morale-boosting win, Tamil Nadu, who last appeared in the Ranji Trophy final in 2014-15, have received another boost as their star allrounder Vijay Shankar is all set to join the squad ahead of the clash against Punjab in Mohali. Punjab are currently lying sixth in the points table.

With Vijay available for selection, Tamil Nadu have dropped spinner C.V. Varun and middle-order batsman B. Anirudh. Washington Sundar, who too was part of India A squad in New Zealand, has returned home. However, he is not available for selection owing to an injury in his right ankle. It was the same ankle which he had injured in Ireland and had remained on the sidelines for a lengthy spell.

Vijay in fine form

Tamil Nadu will be delighted to have Vijay at a time when the allrounder is in good form. In testing conditions of New Zealand, he made a big impression. The right-handed batsman scored half-centuries in both the innings he played in the four-day games (62 and 71) and the two one-day games (87* and 59) so far.

Tamil Nadu squad: B Indrajith (captain), Abhinav Mukund, M Kaushik Gandhi, B Aparajith, Dinesh Karthik, N Jagadeesan, Vijay Shankar, J Kousik, M Shahrukh Khan, Rahil Shah, R Sai Kishore, M Mohammed, K Vignesh, T Natarajan, Abhishek Tanwar.

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~Written by Bijoy