R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, and M Vijay will play the first round of Ranji Trophy matches, which start on October 6. While Ashwin and Vijay have confirmed their availability to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, Jadeja and Pujara have been named in the Saurashtra squad.
However, the availability of Ashwin and Jadeja, who right now find themselves out of the limited-overs national team, depends on their selection for the three-match T20I series against Australia beginning on October 7.
Saurashtra coach Sitanshu Kotak confirmed the development by stating that Jadeja was supposed to join the squad on September 30, while Pujara, who has been named as the captain of the squad for the first time in his career, was expected to return to India by today after finishing his county commitments with Nottinghamshire.
In English county cricket, this year, Pujara had a pretty average season, with 333 runs from 12 innings at an average of 27.75 while Ashwin played a major role in Worcestershire’s promotion to Division One of the league. Ashwin aggregated 214 runs at an average of 42.8, including an 82 in the 137-run win over Durham that led his side to the Division 2 title. Ashwin also finished with 20 wickets.
On the other hand, Jadeja last played a competitive match during the Test series in Sri Lanka. He was recalled to the India squad for the first three ODIs against Australia in place of the injured Axar Patel, but was dropped for the last two ODIs and didn’t get to play any match in the series.
Vijay, meanwhile, has had to go through a lengthy rest following a wrist surgery that was caused by an injury sustained during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in March. He made his comeback in the Tamil Nadu Premier League before turning up for India Green in the Duleep Trophy, where he managed to pick up five wickets while scoring only 17 runs.
Tamil Nadu will play their tournament opener against Andhra Pradesh at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on October 6 while Saurashtra will start against Haryana at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Stadium in Lahili on the same day.