The BCCI on Wednesday announced the squad for the Irani Cup, which has made its return after three years. The prestigious tournament could not be played in the previous two seasons because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Young Delhi batter and India's 2022 Under-19 World Cup winning captain Yash Dhull has been also selected in the squad. After a century on debut in both the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy, he will look to strengthen his red-ball credentials at the Irani Cup.
The 19-year-old has already racked up 770 runs in nine first-class innings, with four centuries, including a best of 200 not out. He will pitch for a berth in a strong middle order, consisting of Vihari, the in-form Sarfaraz Khan and KS Bharat, the first-choice wicketkeeper.
The Rest of India squad also consists of four openers - Mayank Agarwal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal. Among them, Jaiswal, Easwaran and Panchal have been in excellent nick in red-ball cricket recently.
Jaiswal will be heading into the game after his career-best 265 for West Zone in the Duleep Trophy final against South Zone last week. On the other hand, Easwaran and Panchal, were among the runs for India A during their 1-0 home series win over New Zealand A.
Unlike the batting lineup which has experience, the bowling attack is raw. Tearaway quick Umran Malik has continued to receive the backing of the selectors despite an underwhelming start to his red-ball career.
Malik picked up all of eight wickets so far. He will be part of a four-man pace attack, alongside Mukesh Kumar, Kuldeep Sen and Arzan Nagwaswalla. Jayant Yadav and Saurabh Kumar are the two frontline spinners.
ROI squad: Hanuma Vihari (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Yash Dhull, Sarfaraaz Khan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, K.S.Bharat, Upendra Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Mukesh Kumar, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Sen, Arzan Nagwaswalla