Parvez Rasool named in Rest of India squad

Srinagar, Feb 3: After yet another successful Ranji trophy season, J&K all-rounder, Parvez Rasool has been named in the Rest of India squad for Irani Cup that will take on Ranji champions, Karnataka, at Bangalore from February 9.
 Harbhajan Singh has been named captain of the team which includes 15-memebers.
 The squad includes, JK’s top cricketer, Parvez Rasool, who will be seen leading the spin department along with Harbhajan and Amit Mishra.
 It is first time that Parvez has been named in the Rest of India squad and will play the match of Irani Cup against Ranji champions.
 “I am happy to see myself in the list of Rest of India squad. It is a great chance for me to prove my credential before all important Indian premier League bidding process,” Parvez said.
 “If I am included in the playing-XI, I will try my best to get maximum out of this chance. I will try my best to derail the Ranji champions Karnataka,” he said.
 About playing under the captaincy of Harbhajan, he said: “It is a dream come true. It gives me yet another chance to learn from greats like Harbhajan Singh”.
 Harbhajan’s inclusion as the captain means that he is still on the selectors’ radar for the longer version of the game. Ditto for Gambhir, who has scored close to 600 runs this season and is likely to open with Punjab’s Jiwanjot Singh.
 The squad has Ranji Trophy’s top-scorer Kedar Jadhav (1223 runs) along with talented youngsters like Jiwanjot, Tamil Nadu’s Baba Aparajith, Maharashtra’s Ankit Bawne, Punjab’s Mandeep Singh, who have scored heavily in this year’s national domestic tourney.
 Odisha’s Natraj Behera, who had a prolific season despite his state not qualifying for the knock-outs, was included in the side.
 The spin department will be taken care of by Harbhajan and leggie Amit Mishra while Jammu and Kashmir captain Parveez Rasool will be the third spinner.
 The only questionable non-inclusion was Himachal Pradesh seamer Rishi Dhawan, who ended as the highest wicket-taker with 49 scalps.
 However, the selectors have finally found a place for veteran Rajasthan seamer Pankaj Singh, who has been performing in the domestic circuit year after year. This year also, he has taken 39 wickets.
 Varun Aaron is also there in the squad and the selectors would be interested in checking out whether he lasts in a rigorous five-day game where one needs to bowl a long second and even a third spell.
 Bengal’s Ashoke Dinda and Railways’ Anureet Singh have also made it to the squad on the back of some match-winning performances for their respective teams.
 Squad: Harbhajan Singh (Captain), Jiwanjot Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, Dinesh Kartik, Amit Mishra, Pankaj Singh, Ashoke Dinda, Varun Aaron, Parveez Rasool, Anureet Singh, Natraj Behera and Mandeep Singh.