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Manoj to lead in Ranji tooManoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary

Calcutta: It’s official — Manoj Tiwary is Bengal’s captain for the Ranji Trophy.

Tiwary was earlier chosen the skipper for Twenty20 side, which had a smooth run in the East Zone leg of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, in Cuttack. Bengal remained unconquered in the meet winning four matches on the trot.

While the selectors had insisted that Tiwary’s appointment was only T20 specific, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) insiders had revealed that a good show in T20 tournament could see Laxmi Ratan Shukla, last season’s captain, lose his job.

Apart from his good performance, both as a captain and a batsman, coach Woorkeri Raman’s faith in Tiwary is what tilted the scales in the right-handed batsman’s favour. Also a factor was Bengal’s unimpressive show, under Shukla, in the Ranji Trophy last season.

According to the selectors, Shukla has been relieved of captaincy so that he can concentrate on batting. “I am sure he will be burden-free now. We want to keep him pressure-free... He is an integral member of our plans,” chief selector Sambaran Banerjee said.

However, it will be hard for Shukla to be really pressure-free because CAB sources say that it is extremely important for the all-rounder to keep his performance graph high to keep his place in the squad.

Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha was named the vice-captain of the side. Young pacer Shami Ahmed was included in the squad on the basis of his impressive bowling in the T20s. Medium-pacer Sourav Sarkar missed the cut.

Opener Avishek Chowdhury was the only new face in the squad.

Bengal’s first match is against Delhi, from November 1.

THE SQUAD

Manoj Tiwary (capt.), Wriddhiman Saha, Arindam Das, Sreevats Goswami, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Anustup Majumder, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Iresh Saxena, Sourasish Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, Ashok Dinda, Md. Sami Ahmed, Shiv Sagar Singh, Arindam Ghosh, Avishek Chowdhury.

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