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Hanuma Vihari to lead Andhra, Natarajan released from Tamil Nadu squad for rest before England T20Is, ODIs

T Natarajan is pumped after taking a wicket Getty Images

February 11

On being asked by the BCCI, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has released India's latest pace sensation T Natarajan from the upcoming 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy to keep him fresh for the limited-overs series against England next month. Natarajan had played non-stop cricket from the IPL in September to the Test series in Australia last month, staying in biosecure bubbles throughout for five straight months. He has also been rested for the ongoing Tests against England.

"The BCCI and the Indian team management wanted Natarajan to be fresh for the white-ball leg of the series against England. Keeping the Indian team's interests in mind we said yes," TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy told PTI.

The India-England limited-overs series begins with the five T20Is from March 12 in Ahmedabad, followed by the three ODIs that will go on until March 28. As India's white-ball squads have not been announced yet, it remains to be seen if Natarajan will be picked for both formats or if he will be rested for some of the games.

Twenty-two-year-old right-arm quick RS Jaganath Sinivas will take Natarajan's place in the 20-member Tamil Nadu squad which will leave for Indore on February 13. After clearing three Covid-19 Tests, they will be playing their first game against Punjab on February 20, having also been grouped with Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Andhra Pradesh in Group E.

Natarajan was earlier included in a 20-man Tamil Nadu squad for the tournament. Tamil Nadu had recently won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Ahmedabad.

Meanwhile, Hanuma Vihari has passed his fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and is available to lead Andhra.

Vihari had torn his left hamstring on the fifth day of the third Test against Australia in Sydney. However, he kept on batting and helped India salvage a draw in the company of R Ashwin.

In case Vihari is selected for the last two Tests against England, A Brahma Teja will replace him in the Andhra squad.

February 10, 2021

Mumbai will persist with Shreyas Iyer as their captain for the upcoming 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, starting February 20. Iyer, who leads the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, had a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the recent T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where Mumbai, led by Suryakumar Yadav, had a horror run, winning just one of their five group-stage matches to finish bottom of the Elite Group E table.

Iyer was the captain when Mumbai won the 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy, beating Delhi in the final by four wickets, though he started the season as deputy to Ajinkya Rahane. He then led Mumbai last season, when they reached the quarter-final stage.

Prithvi Shaw, meanwhile, has been named Iyer's deputy in the 22-man squad, which includes other internationals like Shivam Dube and Dhawal Kulkarni. Mumbai had earlier named Ramesh Powar their coach for the season after Amit Pagnis resigned following the poor show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Mumbai are in Elite Group D [all matches in Jaipur] for the tournament, clubbed with Delhi, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Puducherry.

Squad: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Prithvi Shaw (vice-capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Akhil Herwadkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan, Chinmay Sutar, Aditya Tare (wk), Hardik Tamore, Shivam Dube, Aakash Parkar, Atif Attarwala, Shams Mulani, Atharva Ankolekar, Sairaj Patil, Sujit Nayak, Tanush Kotian, Prashant Solanki, Dhawal Kulkarni, Tushar Deshpande, Siddharth Raut, Mohit Awasthi.

Krunal Pandya to lead Baroda

Krunal Pandya is back to take charge of Baroda in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy, with Kedar Devdhar, who led them to the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently after Pandya lost his father and left for home, named his deputy.

Baroda are placed in Elite Group A, alongside Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad, Tripura and Goa, with their opening match on February 20 against Goa - all the matches in the group will be played in Surat.

Squad: Krunal Pandya (capt), Kedar Devdhar (vice-capt), Pratyushkumar, Vishnu Solanki, Abhimanyusingh Rajput, Smit Patel (wk), Ninad Rathwa, Atit Sheth, Kartik Kakade, Lukman Meriwala, Babashafi Pathan, Dhruv Patel, Bhargav Bhatt, Bhanu Pania, Chintal Gandhi, Parth Kohli, Jyotsnil Singh, Mitesh Patel (wk), Soeb Sopariya, Shivalik Sharma, Pradeep Yadav, Pratik Ghodedra.