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Three new faces in Assam Ranji team

Guwahati, Nov. 29: After a 10-wicket loss to Services in Delhi earlier this week, Assam Cricket Association has strengthened the Ranji Trophy squad with the better performers of the C.K. Nayudu Trophy (under-25) tournament for the home match against Jammu and Kashmir from Saturday.

The squad, named late last evening, will feature the Assam A skipper Kunal Saikia, Sibsankar Roy and Pritam Das in place of all-rounder Dhiraj Goswami and batsmen Hokaito Zhimomi and Abhijit Singha Roy.

While wicketkeeper-batsman Saikia will replace Singha Roy, southpaw batsman Roy has come in place of Zhimomi and paceman Das for Goswami.

The first-ever first-class cricketer from Nagaland, Zhimomi was tried in the first four matches. However, barring a 48-run knock against Jharkhand in Jamshedpur, the former Kolkata Knight Riders recruit could not click with the willow. He, however, impressed with his fielding in all the four matches, team sources said.

Saikia and Roy had been impressing with their batting in their C.K. Nayudu Trophy matches while the diminutive Silchar lad Das had been one of the most successful of the Assam A bowlers in the current season. Roy even hit a career-best 212 against Chhattisgarh A in Raipur on November 18. Despite the loss to Services, Assam lead Group C with 16 points from four matches, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Services with 14 each. Jammu and Kashmir are languishing at the bottom of with only a single point in their kitty.

The squad: Dheeraj Jadhav (captain), Kunal Saikia (wk), Rajdeep Das (wk), Pallav Das, Chandan Rawat, Amit Sinha, Gokul Sharma, Tarjinder Singh, Sibsankar Roy, Pritam Das, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Arlen Konwar, Arup Das, Syed Mohammad and Deepak Gohain. Coaches Subrajit Saikia and Subhadeep Ghosh. Manager Md Khaleque. Physio Parmeet Singh, Trainer Rakesh Gohil