Pace spearhead L. Balaji will lead Tamil Nadu in the upcoming Ranji Trophy season, beginning in the last week of October. And senior batsman S. Badrinath will captain the State side in the one-dayers and the T20 matches.

According to informed sources, the decision was taken keeping in mind contrasting challenges for the side in what could be a testing season. The 31-year-old Balaji will take charge of the Ranji team, which he led to the final of the 2011-12 season. Given his past record with the State top job – he was injured during a crucial stretch last season – Balaji got the nod.

And things are looking upbeat for the paceman on the fitness front.

An inspirational cricketer, Balaji will seek to lift the side from last season’s disappointment when the team failed to qualify for the quarterfinals. Despite a wealth of talent, Tamil Nadu has won the Ranji Trophy only on two occasions.

The 33-year-old S. Badrinath – the experienced campaigner is the State side’s most consistent batsman - will guide the team’s fortunes in the shorter format. Apart from sharing the workload, the TNCA decision will keep the two outstanding State cricketers focussed on their respective jobs.

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