Posts Tagged ‘ranji trophy’

India’s squad for their upcoming tour of the Caribbean makes interesting reading. In the absence of Sehwag and Raina (injured), Tendulkar and Zaheer (rested), and Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan (dropped), there are one or two names that require a little mental exploration before recognition is achieved.

Ashish Nehra hasn’t played for India since 2005, and Abhishek Nayar, is, I must confess, a mystery to me – although he has made an impression on some, and his 99 in the Ranji Trophy final (as well as his IPL experience) marks him out as someone to keep any eye out for.

Ravindra Jadeja is also a relative newcomer to the full Indian side, having only played a single ODI, but he has impressed in the past for the Under-19 side, and featured in the World Twenty20 side.

The squad in full is as follows: MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Murali Vijay, Subramaniam  Badrinath, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik.

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India have made a couple of eyebrow-raising call-ups in the last 12 months, and the latest is Dhawal Kulkarni, the precocious medium-pacer who featured in Mumbai’s recent Ranji Trophy success, having only made his debut in that competition in 2008.

Also called up is L Balaji, who completes a remarkable comeback from a stress fracture in 2005 that threatened to being his career to an end. More recently, he took the IPL’s first-ever hat-trick.

Where these selections leave the likes of RP Singh or Sreesanth (who, it has been brought to my attention, was recently voted the Sexiest Indian Vegitarian alive) isn’t entirely clear, but the tour of New Zealand could be a good opportunity for Kulkarni or Balaji to emerge as crucial elements of India’s attack.

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Cheteshwar Pujara

Before the cancellation of England’s remaining ODIs in India and the subsequent doubt cast on the Test series, my attention was drawn to an emerging Indian batsman who some have been tipping for a spot in the home side’s Test squad: Cheteshwar Pujara.

The young right-hander (he will turn 21 in January) has been in scintillating form of late, scoring two triple centuries in an under-22 tournament, and another in the Ranji Trophy which was part of the highest ever first-class 5th wicket partnership.

It seems Pujara is another one for followers of cricket outside India to keep an eye out for. Those who follow cricket in that country already seem well appraised of his talents.

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Who on earth is Murali Vijay? The 24-year-old has been called up to the India Test squad as a replacement for the banned Gambhir.

Is this India’s Pattinson moment? Well, perhaps, but Vijay has just hit a double hundred for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy, and has played well for India A in the past.

Good luck to him, I say, even if he is taking Virat Kohli‘s rightful place in the side. With most of the old guard nearing retirement, there could be plenty of chances yet for India’s young batsmen.

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