Umesh Yadav has been named in the Vidarbha squad for the Irani Cup, starting from tomorrow (March 14).
It was already confirmed that he would play the tournament, but the selectors didn’t name the squad until Monday.
Umesh will spearhead the pace attack of Vidarbha which has likes of Rajneesh Gurbani and Aditya Thakare.
The former starred in the Ranji final by taking a hat-trick against Delhi.
He returned with figures of 150/8 in the match, also bagging the Man of the Match award.
Thakare, who was flown in as cover of Ishan Porel during U19 World Cup, also bowled well and got two big wickets in the form of Kunal Chandela and Nitish Rana.
However, he may not be included in the playing XI, looking at the nature of the pitch.
The track seems to be spin friendly, which could see Vidarbha ging with just Umesh and Gurbani as pace options.
Karn Shama, who was dropped from playing XI in a couple of games, can be included, keeping his mind hat he provides an extra option with the bat.
The side also boasts likes of Faiz Fazal, Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish. The three batsman will have the responsibility to help side post a big total on the board.
They did well in Ranji Trophy and scored 912, 595 and 638 runs respectively in the tournament.
If these three can tackle the heavy bowling Rest of India, Vidarbha will easily see off their opposition.
On the other hand, Rest of India have a young batting line-up.
Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are yet to play for India but are in contention to make to the national team.
This is also a platform for them to continue their form and be in the reckoning.
Prithvi will also have an eye on the milestone of Sachin Tendulkar.
If he scores a century in Irani Cup, then he will become just the first player after Tendulkar to score a century on the debut of Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Irani Cup.
All the three spinners viz R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem are expected to be in playing XI, accompanying Navdeep Saini and Siddharth Kaul in the bowling department.
Anmolpreet Singh, who batted at an average of 125.50 for his 753 runs in Ranji Trophy, might miss out on a place in playing XI.
Irani Cup will be played from March 14 to 18 in Nagpur.
Vidarbha: Faiz Fazal (Capt.), R. Sanjay, Wasim Jaffer, Ganesh Satish (Vice-capt.), Apoorv Wankhede, Siddhesh Wath, Akshay Wadkar (wk), Aditya Sarvate, Akshay Karnewar, Akshay Wakhare, Karn Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Rajneesh Gurbani, Yash Thakur, Aditya Thakare, Atharva Taide.
Rest of India: Karun Nair (Capt.), Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, R. Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, G. Hanuma Vihari, K.S. Bharat (wk), R. Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddharth Kaul, Ankit Rajpoot, Navdeep Saini, Atit Sheth.
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