New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Opener Mayank Agarwal will captain Rest of India against Madhya Pradesh in the Irani Cup tie. But middle-order batter Sarfaraz Khan misses out on the Irani Cup due to finger injury.
A report in ESPNCricinfo says the Irani Cup match was initially set to be played in Indore, but had move to Gwalior after the third India-Australia Test was allotted to the Holkar Stadium, because of the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala not being ready in time to host the game.
Though the official squad is yet to come out, the report says Sarfaraz, a prolific run-getter for the last three seasons for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, has been advised eight to ten days of rest to recover from finger injury.
Sarfaraz had sustained the finger injury while playing in the DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai. As of now, he is currently nursing the injury at a fitness camp organised by Delhi Capitals in Kolkata.
The report also says Bengal captain Abhimanyu Easwaran could be Agarwal’s opening partner in the Irani Cup. Easwaran was a member of India’s Test squad in Bangladesh in December last year when Rohit Sharma was unavailable due to thumb injury. Easwaran was also India A captain on the tour to Bangladesh, where he hit back-to-back centuries.
Others who could be in the Rest of India squad include Bengal batter Sudip Kumar Gharami, Mumbai opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tamil Nadu and Delhi batters B Indrajith and Yash Dhull. The report added only two members of the recent Ranji Trophy-winning Saurashtra team have been included: wicketkeeper-opener Harvik Desai and left-arm fast-bowler Chetan Sakariya.
It is believed that Desai will be the second stumper behind Uttar Pradesh’s Upendra Yadav, who has been on India A tours for the last two years. Sakariya, on the other hand, could be in the mix alongside Bengal duo of Mukesh Kumar as well as Delhi’s Navdeep Saini and Baroda’s Atith Sheth.
In terms of spinners, Uttar Pradesh left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar and Punjab leg spinner Mayank Markande have been included. On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh could be led by wicketkeeper-batter Himanshu Mantri with regular captain Aditya Shrivastava absent. Other main players include Rajat Patidar, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan, Shubham Sharma and Yash Dubey.
Madhya Pradesh, the Ranji Trophy champions of the 2021/22 season, were initially scheduled to play their Irani Cup game at the start of the 2022/23 season. But the match was later allotted to Saurashtra, the winners of 2019/20 Ranji Trophy, as they couldn’t play Irani Cup because of the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic a week after they won their first Ranji Trophy title in March 2020.