Srinagar, February 16: J&K is all-set to face Pondicherry on Thursday in their first match of Ranji Trophy at SSN College Ground, Chennai.
Having made it to quarter-final in the last Ranji Trophy back in 2019-20 season, J&K would be hoping to continue their good form in the tournament. However, dismal eperformances in Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy this season might come back to haunt this slightly changed side.
In last Ranji season, Shubham Pundir led the side in absence of an injured Parvez Rasool. The team won first four matches on trot under his captaincy and then when Parvez returned, they continued their good run, making it to quarters.
This year after BCCI appointed a sub-committee to look after JKCA, Parvez was removed as captain from all formats. Pundir was handed the captaincy in limited-overs tournaments. But following his own and team’s below-par performance, he has been replaced by Ian Dev for Ranji Trophy.
Despite the change in leadership role, the squad looks quite strong on paper. But can this team make a mark is a question that would be only answered once they take the field.
J&K is in Elite Group ’C’ alongside Karnataka, Pondicherry and Railways. So, the chances to make it to knockouts are solid. However, they need to go at it one game at a time.
Since Pondicherry isn’t a heavyweight side, J&K has a good opportunity to start the tournament on a winning note.
Probable Playing XI
Qamran Iqbal, Suryansh Raina (WK), Ian Dev Singh (C), Shubham Pundir, Henan Malik, Parvez Rasool, Abdul Samad (VC), Abid Mushtaq, Auqib Nabi, Mujtaba Yousuf, Umran Malik