Irani Cup 2015-16 February 26, 2016

Naman Ojha to lead Rest of India in Irani Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

Naman Ojha peeled off four successive fifty-plus scores in the Ranji Trophy knockouts © PTI

Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, who finished the Ranji Trophy season with 645 runs including four successive fifty-plus scores in the knockouts, has been named as the captain of the 15-man Rest of India squad. They will play 41-time Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai in the Irani Cup at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, starting March 6.

The squad, which was announced shortly after the Ranji final, featured two Saurashtra players - Sheldon Jackson and Jaydev Unadkat. Jackson tallied 538 runs in 10 matches at 57.41, while Unadkat had a breakthrough season after injury, taking 40 wickets at 20.12.

The squad also included the top two wicket-takers of the season - Jharkhand left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and Assam pacer Krishna Das. Punjab pacer Barinder Sran, who recently made his international debut in Australia, and Vidarbha offspinner Akshay Wakhare were also in the bowling mix.

Karun Nair, who scored 500 runs this season compared to last time's 709, was one of the two Karnataka players in this year's Irani Cup squad, along with Stuart Binny. Vidarbha's Faiz Fazal and Jammu and Kashmir's Ian Dev Singh add more weight to the batting line-up. Andhra's Srikar Bharat was the other wicketkeeper in the squad apart from Ojha. Assam's Arun Karthik, who was the third highest run-getter this season behind Shreyas Iyer and Akhil Herwadkar, and allrounder Jalaj Saxena, who piled up 588 runs and 49 wickets, didn't find a place in the squad.

Rest of India squad: KS Bharat, Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair, Sheldon Jackson, Naman Ojha (captain), Stuart Binny, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Nathu Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Barinder Sran, Krishna Das, Sudip Chatterjee, Ian Dev Singh, Akshay Wakhare.

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  •   Hafis Rahman on March 2, 2016, 2:12 GMT

    why they ignored rohan prem

  • parameswaran on February 29, 2016, 6:38 GMT

    Some good choices, Sran, Nathu. Jayant, Unadkat. Don't know what this selection committee sees in Binny. Poor choice. Some other deserving youngster could have been picked in his place. May be Avesh Khan. We also should move from performance based selection to potential based selection. The committee should have some vision about the future. It is time to give continuity in grooming identified youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Nathu Singh, Akhil Herwakdar, Sarfaraaz Khan, Sanju Samson, Unadkat. Sran, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya, etc.

  • Naresh on February 27, 2016, 23:28 GMT

    Nice to have this. The champion team versus rest of India What better way of giving the selectors an idea of talent available.

  • ATUL on February 27, 2016, 11:34 GMT

    Ojha should be their in place of Parthiv, as Parthiv plays in opening slot, while Naman is a middle order like Dhoni.

  • Binu on February 27, 2016, 10:32 GMT

    Rohan Prem and Monish from Kerala,Jalaj Saxena from MP are unlucky

  • Unni on February 27, 2016, 9:00 GMT

    rohan prem and sanju samson glaring omissions instead of stuart binny who has done nothing of note

  • Abhijith on February 27, 2016, 7:17 GMT

    Very lopsided selection, not any middle order batsman. Manish Pandey, Kedhar Jadhav, Gurukeerat Mann should have been selected instead of so many wk

  • Santosh on February 27, 2016, 5:58 GMT

    Where did Ishwar Pandey go....has been good throughout the season...he should have been selected....he was in India squad last year and was removed without given a chance...may be that is a record, being selected for three series for India and not getting a single match. Serious talent but will lose confidence soon.

  • Jerry on February 27, 2016, 5:24 GMT

    Why is Rohan prem not there? Soo many in the list who have not performed up to the mark and still finds a place!

  •   Krishna Kumar on February 27, 2016, 4:14 GMT

    Uthappa was the best wicket keeper batsman of the season. Jalaj, Arun Karthik, Mohanty and Saurabh Tiwary are some deserving players. Possubly they missed out on the 4-5 players picked on potential (instead of picking everyone based on performance). Though i would have gone for Uthappa instead of Naman Ojha.

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