Duleep Trophy 2006 - South Zone Squad

Last Ranji Trophy season, Hyderabad, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka played in the Elite Group while Goa played in the Plate Group. None of these South zone teams made it into the semi-finals. This year's squad for the Duleep Trophy has 5 men from Hyderabad, 4 from Tamil Nadu, 2 each from Andhra and Karnataka and 1 each from Kerala and Goa.

Hyderabad: VVS Laxman, Arjun Yadav, Ibrahim Khaleel, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu
Andhra: Venugopal Rao, Gnaneshwar Rao
Tamil Nadu: S Badrinath, Dinesh Kaarthick, Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh, Laxmipathy Balaji
Karnataka: Anil Kumble, Robin Uthappa
Kerala: Shantakumaran Sreesanth
Goa: Swapnil Asnodkar

Openers: Uthappa
There is only one genuine opener in the squad. I would like to have tried out Karnataka's Bharath Chipli. He averaged above 50 in 8 innings last season and has a much better record than some of the middle order batsmen selected.

Middle Order: Laxman, Venugopal Rao, S Badrinath, Ambati Rayudu, Gnaneshwar Rao, Arjun Yadav
Laxman is supposedly fit and needs this tournament to get some form going ahead of the South African tour. S Badrinath (led the South Zone batting averages last year) and Venugopal Rao have been in the India A team for a while and they automatically walk into the side. The next 3 names are interesting. Yalaka Gnaneshwar Rao is Venugopal's kid brother and averaged a modest 31.00 in 9 innings last Ranji season. Ambati Rayudu played for Andhra last season and averaged just above 35 in 8 innings. He is back with Hyderabad this year and would be hoping to prove his detractors that he still has the same promise that he showed as a teenager. The last name on the list is Arjun Yadav. He averaged just 20.09 in 11 innings last year. If he wasn't Shivlal Yadav's son, he would have struggled to retain his spot in the Hyderabad team. It is a real shame that he has been named in the Duleep Trophy squad ahead of Badani (averaged 54.44 last Ranji season) and Chipli (averaged 51.14).

Wicket-Keepers:
Dinesh Kaarthick, Ibrahim Khaleel
Dinesh Kaarthick is the first choice. Khaleel did well with the bat for Hyderabad last season and infact led the team's batting averages (40.20 in 11 innings). He is definitely a much better option than Arjun Yadav in the middle order.

Seamers: Sreesanth, Balaji, Yo Mahesh
A fairly formidable pace attack.

Spinners: Kumble, Ojha, Asnodkar
Anil Kumble is coming back from an injury and would like to use this tournament as a good warm-up before the South African series. It would mean a lot to young Pragyan Ojha (left-arm chinaman) to be able to bowl in tandem with someone like Anil. Goa's offspinner Asnodkar would be hoping to get a game, but he is likely to miss out from the initial starting XI.

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Anonymous Sandip 10:10 AM

Selection of Gnaneshwar and Arjun is DISAPPOINTING, but I’m Rayudu is in, lets hope he gets chance to play. I'm a big fan of Rayudu, once he was billed as next Tendulkar!
and they should have picked a two specialist opener, and Shikhar Dhawan would have made a good selection.    



Anonymous Anonymous 10:11 AM

Selection of Gnaneshwar and Arjun is DISAPPOINTING, but I’m HAPPY that Rayudu is in, lets hope he gets chance to play. I'm a big fan of Rayudu, once he was billed as next Tendulkar!
And they should have picked a two specialist opener, and Shikhar Dhawan would have made a good selection.
-- Sandip    



Blogger vishnupavan 12:13 PM

Sandip, Shikhar plays for Delhi - so technically he cant represent South Zone.. agree with the specialist opener thing - Chipli should have been given a try..    



Blogger Jason 4:49 AM

And who told you Asnodkar is an offspinner?

Think before you speak and Google before you blog!!    



Blogger vishnupavan 1:47 PM

Jason.. apologies..

Asnodkar is a frontline batsman.. should have put him under the middle-order tag.. I just got carried away by the fact that he can roll his arm over a bit..    



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