Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup match against Ranji Champions Gujarat, the BCCI announced on Saturday. The squad for the season-ending first-class tournament also features Karnataka batsman Karun Nair and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
After the conclusion of the 2016-17 edition of the Ranji Trophy in Indore, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Rest of India squad to feature against the new Ranji champions Gujarat, to play the Irani Cup match to be played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai from Jan 20-24, 2017.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who had a fantastic series against England, will lead the side that has Wriddhiman Saha as their wicketkeeper. Saha will make his return to competitive cricket after being left out from the national team for the better part of the England series due to a tendon injury.
The Rest of India team also features Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who scored a mind-boggling triple-century against England. Jharkhand spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who picked 56 wickets this season to be the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, has also been named in the side. Tamil Nadu skipper Abhinav Mukund and former India Under-19 skipper Ishan Kishan have also been selected to showcase their potential.
Brabourne Stadium will host the 2016-17 Irani Cup clash. Usually, the Ranji Trophy champions get the right to host the Irani Cup, but Gujarat expressed their inability to host the game due to the renovation work
Rest of India Squad: Abhinav Mukund, Akhil Herwadkar, Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pankaj Singh, K Vignesh, Siddarth Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Akshay Wakhare, Ishan Kishan, Prashant Chopra