Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20: Varun Aaron named Jharkhand captain in MS Dhoni's absence

MS Dhoni has marked himself unavailable for the tournament.

Varun Aaron
Varun Aaron. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The 2019-20 Indian domestic season is in full flow and we are now 24 hours away from kickstarting its flagship 50-over tournament –  The Vijay Hazare Trophy. The tournament opener will see a Round 1, Plate encounter between Nagaland and Manipur in Dehradun. As a result, teams have started announcing their respective squads. The latest team to announce their squad for the 2019-20 season is Jharkhand.

Following the unavailability of MS Dhoni from the flagship tournament, Jharkhand has announced that fast bowler Varun Aaron will lead their side this season. Aaron, who last played a Test match for India in 2014, has been battling with injuries in the past few years. But, the fast bowler seems to have found himself in the scheme of things again, having plied his trade-in the Duleep Trophy and Deodhar Trophy last year.

Great opportunity for Ishan Kishan to out-forward his case for a national call-up

Besides Aaron, another notable inclusion in the Jharkhand unit is wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan. With Rishabh Pant struggling for runs in T20Is and team-management mulling to ‘rest’ him for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh and MS Dhoni having already made himself unavailable, the Vijay-Hazare Trophy is a perfect opportunity for the left-hander to present a strong case for himself in front of the selectors.

Kishan is one of two Indian batsmen who have stroked back-to-back Twenty20 hundreds. The left-hander had a productive Vijay Hazare season last year where he finished as the third-highest run-getter [405 runs in 9 games at 45.00] which included three half-centuries and a hundred.

Speaking of Jharkhand’s batting, once again the onus will be on the likes of Anukul Roy, Anand Singh, and Saurabh Tiwary to spearhead their side’s batting. The trio -Roy in particular and apart from Ishan- was the cornerstone of Jharkhand’s batting in the last season. While Anukul top-scored with 219 runs after nine games at an average of 73.00, Singh and Tiwary chipped in with 321 and 207 runs respectively.

The bowling-unit, as usual, will be led by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. Nadeem had a stupendous form last year, claiming wickets for fun besides claiming the all-time List-A record for the best figures by a bowler when he walked past a hapless Rajasthan batting line-up to the tune of 8-10. Jharkhand kickstarts their 2019 Vijay-Hazare campaign against defending champions Mumbai on Wednesday.

Jharkhand’s squad for the 2019-20 Vijay-Hazare Trophy

Kumar Deobrat, Saurabh Tiwary, Anand Singh, Shasheem Rathour, Anukul Roy, Virat Singh, Monu Kumar, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sumit Kumar, Varun Aaron (Captain), Ashish Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Shukla, Utkarsh Singh, Atul Singh Surwar.