ABBAS ALI will lead the Madhya Pradesh cricket team in the Ranji Trophy 2006-2007 plate group. The team for the first two matches has been announced.
MP will be playing their first match against Railways at Delhi from November 23. Railways, who have been relegated from Elite group to plate group, would try to regain their position in the Elite group.
Railways have been the Ranji champions. Last year, MP could not make it to the Elite group. It lost the semifinal match against Saurashtra after performing well in other matches.
Sanjay Pande, out of the MP team due to injury, is replaced by Sunil Dholpure who played well last year and contributed to the victory over Mumbai.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, the selection committee chairman Sanjeev Rao said that the team has been announced for the first two matches. Each player have to perform consistently to find a place in the team, he added.
MP has experienced and young players. Abbas Ali, Devendra Bundela, Amay Khurasiya, Yogesh Golwalkar and Brijesh Tomar participated in the Central Zone team this year.
Left arm spinner Ashutosh Jadhav is the new face in the team. The Gwalior boy’s performance in junior matches got him selected in the team.
Mudassar Pasha of Bhopal has come back in the team. He has been replaced in place of Sachin Dholpure who had a bad patch in U-22 matches.
Anand Rajan in his debut last year did a brilliant job by capturing 10 wickets in his first match and was selected in the Central Zone team this year. He played a match against North Zone and took a wicket.
MP has good medium pacers in Anand Rajan, Sunil Dholpure, Shantanu Pitre, T Sudhendra. Devendra Bundela would also be a useful medium pacer.
Off spinner Jalaj Saxena is likely to open the innings along with Naman Ojha as he scored a century in the recently concluded U-22 match. MP skipper could opt experienced left-handed batsman Mudassar Pasha who is a hard hitter and could bowl also. The left hand and right hand combination may trouble the opponent bowlers.
Yogesh Golwalkar who had a good season in England is in form and more responsibility is on his shoulder as Narendra Hirwani is retired.
Amay Khurasiya has to strike this time and in the last season he found his returning at the fag end of the tournament. His experience should help the team. Devendra Bundela, Abbas Ali and Brijesh Tomar did their best in the last season but the middle order collapse failed the team to find a place in the Elite group.
The selectors still has confidence in Rahul Bhakshi who is a good fielder but has to perform well with the bat. Before the Ranji match, MPCA has arranged practice matches at Ahmedabad and later the team would be busy at the seven-day camp at Indore before leaving for Delhi on November 21. The second match would be played against Kerala at Palaghat.
The other members of the team are: Naman Ojha, Devendra Bundela, Amay Khurasiya, Brijesh Tomar, Mohnish Mishra, Jalaj Saxena, Yogesh Golwalkar, Anand Rajan, Sunil Dholpure, T Sudhendra, Ashutosh Jadhav, Shantanu Pitre, Rahul Bhakshi and Mudassar Pasha. Coach: Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Manager: Rajiv Dua.