TN team for Syed Mushtaq Ali to be selected today

The team for the competition, to be held here from January 29 to February 3, will be picked on Wednesday evening after a practice game among the probables in the morning.

Vijay Shankar

The selectors could pick a 16-member Tamil Nadu squad since senior cricketer Dinesh Karthik would be available only for the first two matches because of a function in his family.   -  R.V.Moorthy

The Tamil Nadu team for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament is likely to be a blend of experience and youth.

The team for the competition, to be held here from January 29 to February 3, will be picked on Wednesday evening after a practice game among the probables in the morning.

“The probables had a useful session at Chepauk today. The boys are in good shape. We have a nice pool of cricketers to choose from. I have seen the young players in TNPL,” Tamil Nadu coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar told Sportstar on Tuesday,

There were some concerns, however, over the fitness of two key pacemen Aswin Crist and T. Natarajan. Kanitkar, though, was bullish about the inclusion of both the pacemen. “Crist bowled and batted without any discomfort today. He should be okay.” Crist was battling an ankle strain.

On left-arm seamer T. Natarajan, grappling with some soreness below the knee, Kanitkar said, “We gave him a bit of rest today but he should be all right.”

Tamil Nadu’s strength and conditioning coach, Ramji Srinivasan, said: “Both Crist and Natarajan have recovered well. I don’t see any problems with them over fitness now.”

The selectors could pick a 16-member squad since senior cricketer Dinesh Karthik would be available only for the first two matches because of a function in his family.

The team led by Vijay Shankar has a fair bit of ability. In batting, Abhinav Mukund, Karthik, B. Aparajith, B. Indrajith, N. Jagadeesan (he will also don the big gloves in the last three games), and Kaushik Gandhi are obvious choices.

Skipper Vijay Shankar will be the pace bowling all-rounder. It remains to be seen whether the experienced R. Sathish gets the nod over two all-rounders who can send down seamers, R. Rajkumar and Harish Kumar. Both Rajkumar and Harish Kumar impressed in TNPL.

Sathish could get the nod since Karthik will not be playing the last three games and the team-management might want some experience. Sathish is a wily seamer too in the shortest format.

Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore should be an automatic pick. The parsimonious Rahil Shah and the young M.S. Sanjay are in the frame if the selectors opt for a second left-arm spinner. Murugan Ashwin is the most likely leg-spinning option.

Top-order batsman Washington Sundar, who caught the eye with his tidy off-spin in TNPL, could be roped in.

Tamil Nadu has a settled pace combination of Aswin Crist, K. Vignesh and Natarajan, so effective with his yorkers. The selectors are unlikely to disturb the trio. Antony Dhas, suited for Twenty20 cricket, will be the support paceman.