IPL stars Rana, Tripathi in Board President XI

The youngsters bagged a spot in the squad that will take on Australia in a 50-over warm-up game at the Chepauk on Tuesday.

Rahul Tripathi (in action) represented Rising Pune Supergiants in the last edition of the IPL.   -  PRASHANT NAKWE

The Indian cricket board’s sudden decision to hold Duleep Trophy has now forced the national selectors to name a fourth string Board President’s XI squad that will take on Australia in a 50-over warm-up game at the Chepauk here on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Yuvraj Singh was ignored, which once again indicated that the selectors are looking ahead. Yuvraj was also not selected for the Irani Cup.

With the top 45 domestic performers selected for the Duleep Trophy, the MSK Prasad-led committee selected a 15-member team that had some of the IPL performers like Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and MS Washington Sundar along with completely unknown entities like Delhi’s left-arm quick Kulwant Khejroliya.

It is learnt that Delhi lad Khejroliya is being considered an exciting prospect with his ability to clock at 140 kmph. He was a part of Mumbai Indians squad.

The Indian team management is looking for some left-arm fast bowling options and the move to give Khejroliya a game against an international side may just be an opportunity to test his talent.

He has played only seven List A games for Delhi last season, taking 17 wickets.

Some like Odisha’s Govinda Poddar and UP’s Shivam Chaudhary have also been picked based on some decent Vijay Hazare Trophy performances despite not even scoring 500 runs in the first-class season.

Bengal’s Shreevats Goswami was picked as the top three scorers for Bengal, Manoj Tiwary, Sudeep Chatterjee and Abhimanyu Easwaran, are playing in the Duleep Trophy.

Shreevats has scored 492 runs last season with his maiden double hundred.

A BCCI official privy to selection matters admitted that the selection committee didn’t have too many options.

“The Duleep Trophy certainly set the selectors’ plans haywire. With Duleep Trophy on, this was the best set of domestic players available. People like Rahul and Washington have done well in the IPL while a few like Govinda and Shivam did decently in Vijay Hazare Trophy for their state sides,” the BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

IPL specialist Mayank Agarwal did not do anything last season but has been picked due to lack of options. Agarwal has also been a big flop in the IPL as well as this year’s Karnataka Premier League.

India reject Gurkeerat Mann, who failed to make the cut in Duleep teams have also got a chance.

The fast bowlers have all been picked based on their talent more than wickets. There is Kulwant along with Madhya Pradesh’s former India U-19 Avesh Khan and Gujarat’s Kushang Patel. Punjab swing bowler Sandeep Sharma is also there in the squad.

There are two left-arm spinners in Tamil Nadu’s Rahil Shah and Maharashtra’s Akshay Karnewar.

Squad: Rahul Tripathi, Mayank Agarwal, Shivam Chaudhary, Nitish Rana, Govinda Poddar, Gurkeerat Mann, Shreevats Goswami, Akshay Karnewar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Kushang Patel, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Washington Sundar, Rahil Shah.

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