L. Balaji, who led Tamil Nadu to the final of the Ranji Trophy last season, has been retained captain by the State selectors for the opening Group B match against Odisha at Cuttack from November 2.
The line-up includes R. Ashwin, India’s current lead spinner, and batting mainstay S. Badrinath, who was part of the national squad during its last Test series, against New Zealand. Dinesh Karthik, M. Vijay, and Abhinav Mukund are the others to have played at the highest level.
Vijay and Mukund, however, face the possibility of a week’s continuous cricket, for they are in the India ‘A’ squad scheduled to play the touring England side from October 30 to November 1 in Mumbai.
The new faces in the 16-man team are seamer M. Mohammed, who was among the wickets in the Buchi Babu and Moin-ud-Dowla tournaments, leg-spinner M. Ashwin, and reserve wicketkeeper R. Rohith.
The squad: L. Balaji (capt.), K.B. Arun Karthick, M. Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, S. Badrinath, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R. Prasanna, K. Shri Vasudeva Das, B. Aparajith, R. Ashwin, R. Aushik Srinivas, V. Yomahesh, J. Kaushik, M. Mohammed, M. Ashwin, and R. Rohith. Coach: V.B. Chandrasekhar; Bowling coach: D.J. Gokulakrishnan; Fielding coach: M. Sanjay.
Manager: S.L.N. Mani; Trainer: M. Manoj Kumar; Physio: P.K. Naveen Babu; Masseur: Maria Doss; Video analyst: M. Lakshmi Narayanan. — Special Correspondent