Baba Indrajith named Tamil Nadu skipper

Indrajith will be succeeding Abhinav Mukund who led Tamil Nadu in the last season of the Ranji Trophy.

Tamil Nadu which started as the favourite going into the Vijay Hazare season could not make it count. Can Baba Indrajith turn things around in the Ranji season?   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Recognising his qualities - solidity and flair in batting and a sharp cricketing brain - the Tamil Nadu selectors, on Monday, named Baba Indrajith as the Tamil Nadu captain for the upcoming Ranji season.

The 24-year-old Indrajith has a worthy record in first class cricket with 2662 runs in 42 matches at 49.29.

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And centuries in contrasting formats, the Duleep Trophy and the Vijay Hazare competitions this season, have confirmed the fine form Indrajith is in.

In fact, Indrajith was away in Mumbai for a selection trial with the Rajasthan Royals when the news of him being named the State Ranji captain reached him.

The pleasantly surprised Indrajith was, predictably, delighted with the development.

Indrajith replaces Abhinav Mukund at the helm. The State side had a disastrous time in the premier domestic competition last season and left-handed Abhinav struggled with his form too.

State selection panel chief S. Sharath said to Sportstar, “We had a chat with Abhinav. He is very keen to contribute with the bat.”

Sharath revealed, “The decision to appoint Indrajith was unanimous. There was consensus among the selectors that Indrajith was the right person to captain the State Ranji side.”

Talking about the qualities that saw Indrajith being picked for the top job, Sharath said, “He is a dependable middle-order batsman and has a fabulous temperament which is important for a captain. And he has been around as vice-captain for quite some time now.”

Sharath added, “From what we have seen of Indrajith, he can take responsibility, absorb pressure.”

The State selection panel chief said, “We have identified Indrajith as the man to lead the State in the Ranji Trophy, and Vijay Shankar, in the shorter formats. We want these two talented cricketers to take the team forward.”

Asked what tilted the scales in favour of Indrajith over Shankar for the Ranji role, Sharath answered, “As a pace-bowling all-rounder Shankar has a heavy workload in the longer duration matches. It would not be easy for him to lead the Ranji side.”

Tamil Nadu is in Elite Group ‘B’ this season along with combative sides such as Delhi, Punjab, Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.   

The State side begins its campaign against Madhya Pradesh at Dindigul on November 1.