Batsman and Kings XI star player Mandeep Singh will be the captain of Punjab in the Ranji Trophy opener against Andhra Pradesh. Their first match will commence in Visakhapatnam from Thursday.
However, experienced batsman Yuvraj Singh has not been inducted in the squad. As a result, it will be interesting to see whether the veteran has been dropped for lack of form or there is any other reason for his sudden omission. Along with him, veteran spinner and an ever-present figure in the squad, Harbhajan Singh was also absent from the squad. It seems that both the former International players could be at the cusp of their brilliant careers.
Yuvraj Singh, who will soon turn 37, played his last ODI back in mid-2017 against New Zealand. He scored 38 runs in his last match for Punjab on 8th October. The team had registered a 6-wicket win over Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare fixture.
One reason being cited widely is the rise of young players like Shubman Gill and Mayank Markande. The former has shown great promise and recently even scored a century in a Deodhar Trophy match for India C.
A 38-year-old Harbhajan Singh, on the other hand, played his last list A match in 2017 against where he could manage to take a single wicket.
“Batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann will be holding the reigns of vice-captain for the team”, Punjab Cricket Association’s spokesperson Sushil Kapoor said.
Kapoor also added that Punjab Ranji team is a blend of youth and experience, with Shubman Gill, Anmolpreet Singh, Sanvir Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Markande as the youngsters in the team. He then highlighted the experience in the squad in the face of Mandeep Singh, Gurkeerat Mann, Siddharth Kaul and Barinder Sran.
After their first match of the season, the team will return to Mohali and their second encounter is against Madhya Pradesh in Indore, from November 20.
Shubman Gill, Jeevanjot Singh, Anmol Preet Singh, Mandeep Singh (c), Sanvir Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Abhishek Gupta (wicket-keeper), Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Markande, Arpit Pannu, Vinay Choudhary, Siddharth Kaul, Shubek Gill, Baltej Singh, Barinder Sran and Sharad Loomba.