No Sarfaraz Khan As Rest of India Announces Squad For Irani Cup Match Against Madhya Pradesh
Sarfaraz misses out because of injury [Twitter]
The much-awaited Irani Cup fixture, pitting Rest of India against Madhya Pradesh, is all set to kick off on March 1 in the historic city of Gwalior. The Rest of India team will be captained by the top run-scorer of the recently-concluded Ranji Trophy season, Mayank Agarwal, who is keen to reclaim his spot in the Indian Test team after falling out of favour last year.
The team boasts of an impressive line-up, including Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, who is also looking to make a mark in the upcoming match after having been part of the Test squad in Bangladesh in December.
The top-order batters in the Rest of India squad also include Sudip Kumar Gharami, Yashasvi Jaiswal, B Indrajith, and Yash Dhull, all of whom have been in fine form in the domestic season. However, a prominent name missing from the squad is that of Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan, who has been in scintillating form in the domestic circuit.
According to an ESPNCricinfo report, the swashbuckling right-hander, who has been advised to rest due to a finger injury he sustained during the DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai, will be the notable absentee in the 16-member squad. He is currently undergoing treatment for his injury at a fitness camp organized by the Delhi Capitals in Kolkata.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, the pace unit of the Rest of India team is well-rounded, with Bengal's pace duo of Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep joining forces with Chetan Sakariya of Saurashtra and Delhi's Navdeep Saini in a four-man attack.
Saini is making a comeback after recovering from an abdominal muscle strain he suffered during the India A tour of Bangladesh. Atith Sheth of Baroda is the only seam-bowling allrounder in the mix.
The selection panel, comprising SS Das, S Sharath, Salil Ankola, and Subroto Bannerjee, chose Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar and Punjab legspinner Mayank Markande over the season's top wicket-takers, Jalaj Saxena of Kerala and Shams Mulani of Mumbai, who picked up 50 and 46 wickets respectively.
On the flip side, Madhya Pradesh, led by wicketkeeper-batter Himanshu Mantri in the absence of regular captain Aditya Shrivastava, will be looking to build on their momentum after being crowned champions in the 2021-22 season.
The team comprises several key players, including Rajat Patidar, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan, Shubham Sharma, and Yash Dubey, who played crucial roles in their victorious campaign.
Rest of India squad: Mayank Agarwal (c), Upendra Yadav (wk), Sudip Kumar Gharami, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Yash Dhull, Harvik Desai, Mukesh Kumar, Atit Sheth, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini, Mayank Markande, Saurabh Kumar, Akash Deep, B Indrajith, Pulkit Narang
Madhya Pradesh squad: Himanshu Mantri (c & wk), Rajat Patidar, Yash Dubey, Venkatesh Iyer, Harsh Gawli, Shubham Sharma, Akshat Raghuwanshi, Aman Solanki, Avesh Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Saransh Jain, Ankit Kushwah, Mihir Hirwani Gaurav Yadav, Anubhav Agarwal