| Dhiraj Goswami |
Guwahati, Dec. 6: The Assam Cricket Association has recalled all-rounder Dhiraj Goswami and batsman Pritam Debnath for the Ranji Trophy match against Himachal Pradesh at Nehru Stadium here from Saturday.
While Goswami has been called in place of paceman Pritam Das, Debnath will replace wicketkeeper Rajdeep Das, who twisted his ankle ahead of the last match against Jammu and Kashmir. Debnath was named in the squad for the matches against Tripura, Jharkhand and Kerala and later on replaced by Chandan Rawat in the matches against Services and Jammu & Kashmir after Rawat suffered an injury.
According to ACA sources, Das could be available for the home match against Andhra Pradesh from December 22.
Goswami, too, was in the squad for the first four matches but replaced by Pritam Das in the fifth match for his good performances in the C.K. Nayudu Trophy. Das, however, could not impress against Jammu & Kashmir.
Goswami was fielded in the playing 11 only against Services where the medium pacer scalped three wickets and scored 27 runs and his replacement by Das had raised many eyebrows.
Assam skipper Dheeraj Jadhav admitted having missed Goswami’s services on the home turf after losing against J&K.
In a marathon meeting of the selection committee here last evening, the names of some other non-performers were also discussed. “Performance of senior players like Gokul Sharma and a few others were discussed. However, it was decided to retain them in the squad because of their experience,” a source in the selection committee said.
Sources said the committee, which had its say on the squad in the last match according to an ACA directive, has refused to shoulder the responsibility in the remaining matches.
The selectors have been blamed partially for the loss against J&K where the selectors had allegedly imposed upon the team management to field an extra seamer in the place of a batsman.
The selection committee, headed by chairman Bimal Bharali, comprises Naba Konwar, Nagesh Singh and Ratul Das.
Dheeraj Jadhav (captain), Kunal Saikia (wk), Sibsankar Roy, Chandan Rawat, Amit Sinha, Pritam Debnath, Pallav Das, Syed Mohammad, Dhiraj Goswami, Gokul Sharma, Kunal Saikia, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Arup Das, Arlen Konwar and Deepak Gohain; coaches: Subhrajit Saikia and Subhadeep Ghosh; manager: Mohd Khaleque; physio: Parmeet Singh, trainer: Rakesh Gohil