Former India opener Abhinav Mukund does not find a place in the Tamil Nadu squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament.
Matches in group ‘B’, that includes Tamil Nadu, will be held in Thiruvananthapuram from November 8 to 17. State side’s principal challengers from the pool are Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha, Rajasthan and host Kerala. The top two teams progress to the next stage.
Explaining Abhinav’s omission, M. Senthilnathan, chairman of the State selection panel, extended the horses for courses argument.
He said to The Hindu here on Tuesday, “Abhinav had a fine Vijay Hazare tournament where we did very well to reach the final. But the panel felt his game is more suited to Ranji Trophy and one-day cricket where he is an automatic choice.”
Senthil elaborated, “Abhinav doesn’t play a lot of Twenty20 cricket too. We discussed his name. It was a hard decision to leave him out.”
The selection panel chief added, “And we have youngsters such as N. Jagadeesan and Hari Nishaanth who have done well up the order in Twenty20 cricket. Then we also possess the experienced M. Vijay who has had his moments in this format.”
The Dinesh Karthik-led team also has star off-spin bowling all-rounder R. Ashwin. Senthil said, “Ashwin will be there with us till the Test series begins against Bangladesh. Then Washington Sundar will join the team, after the completion of the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh.”
G. Periyaswamy, the slinger who caught everyone’s attention in this year’s edition of the TNPL, finds a place too.
Senthil said, “Periyaswamy has a unique action and it is not easy to pick him. But it was a tough choice between him and Athisiyaraj Davidson, who too is a slinger. In the event of an injury, Athisiyaraj could join the team.”
The team is expected to have a short camp in Chennai, Tirunelveli or Dindigul — depending on rain in these areas — from October 31 to November 5 before leaving for Thiruvananthapuram.
The squad: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Vijay Shankar (vice-captain), M. Vijay, N. Jagadeesan, C. Hari Nishaanth, B. Aparajith, M. Shahrukh Khan, R. Ashwin, M. Ashwin, R. Sai Kishore, T. Natarajan, G. Periyaswamy, K. Vignesh, M. Mohammad, J. Kousik.
Washington Sundar will join the team after the completion of the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh.