Jamshedpur, Oct. 19: Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been retained as skipper of the Jharkhand cricket team for the first two Ranji Trophy matches against Delhi and Karnataka.
According to Jharkhand State Cricket Association, which announced the team on Friday, Jamshedpur speedster Varun Aaron has been included in the 15-member outfit.
This apart, selectors two outstation players, Bhavik Thaker from Gujarat and Bhavin Thaker from Mumbai, have also been included in the team to strengthen the middle order.
Jharkhand will take on Delhi at Keenan Stadium from October 27-30 and then travel to Bangalore to lock horns with Karnataka from November 7-10.
Nadeem, who replaced southpaw Saurabh Tiwary as Jharkhand skipper last season, has been entrusted with the responsibility of the team once again.
Tiwary, however, is back in the team after a shoulder surgery and is apparently raring to go.
Ishank Jaggi, one of the state’s batting mainstays, has been named vice-captain.
Steel city pacer Aaron, who was out of the state outfit for over a year owing to a lower back pain, is back in the side.
The genuine speedster, who had been undergoing rehabilitation at National Cricket Academy, Bangalore, is reported to be ready to launch thunderbolts yet again.
Others who bagged berths in the state squad include Rameez Nemat, Manish Vardhan, Aakash Verma, S.P. Gautam, Sunny Gupta, Samar Quadri, Rahul Shukla, Ajay Yadav and S.S. Rao.
“We have picked a balanced side that is expected to perform well in the opening matches. Varun’s inclusion in the team will add sting to our pace attack,” said a selector.
The state cricket outfit also announced a 15-member team for the first two under-25 matches of the Col C K Nayudu Trophy.
Led by Keshav Kumar, the outfit comprises Shasheem Rathaur, Vishal Singh, Kumar Deobrat, Ajatshatru Singh, Babul, Pappu Kumar Singh, Chandan Singh, Prakash Seet, Ashish Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Vikash Singh, Mithun Mukherjee, Asif Fahad and Rahul Mishra.
The under-25 team will open its campaign against Tripura at Agartala from October 28-31 and play against Chattisgarh from November 8-11.