IRANI TROPHY: Parvez Rasool included in Rest of India squad

SRINAGAR: J&K’s Parvez Rasool has been included in the Rest of India squad named Monday by the BCCI, which is scheduled to play Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka in the Irani Cup game at Bengaluru from February 9-13.
The J&K skipper’s inclusion comes on back of his solid all-round show in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy which saw his side make history, earning a place in last eight stages for the first time.
While Parvez was destructive with the bat amassing 600 plus runs, he had decent outings with the ball taking 27 wickets.
The all-rounder expressed happiness about the inclusion and said he would make most of this opportunity.
“Thanks to Allah for the inclusion. I would try to make most of the opportunity and impress selectors in the game,” an elated Parvez told Kashmir Reader.
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who last played a Test for India in March 2013, will lead a squad that also includes emerging star Baba Aparajith, Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav and pacer Varun Aaron. Jharkhand’s Aaron also played for the Indian team in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand.
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.
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.
Odisha’s Natraj Behera, who had a prolific season despite his state not qualifying for the knock-outs, was included in the side.
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.
The RoI squad: Harbhajan Singh (captain), Jiwanjyot Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Baba Aparajith, Kedar Jadhav, Ankit Bawne, Dinesh Kartik, Amit Mishra, Pankaj Singh, Ashoke Dinda, Varun Aaron, Parvez Rasool, Anureet Singh, Natraj Behera, Mandeep Singh.
With inputs from PTI