Abhinav Mukund was named the captain of India Red © AFP
Abhinav Mukund was named the captain of India Red © AFP

India Red cruised to a win against India Green in the Duleep Trophy 2017 opener. The win came despite their originally named captain Abhinav Mukund not playing and their star off-spinner K Gowtham’s absence on the final day of the game. Mukund, who missed the tournament opener due to dengue, has not recovered yet and has been ruled out. Gowtham fell ill on Day Three of the game in Lucknow. A report from Cricbuzz mentions India Red skipper confirming the unavailability of the key players. ALSO READ: Priyank Panchal: Focus is on scoring runs; not earning Test cap

Surprisingly, Gowtham was part of the playing XI for Belagavi Panthers in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) match against Bellary Tuskers on Tuesday. Vijay Gohil has replaced him in the India Red side for the remainder of the Duleep Trophy. Mukund’s replacement in the side is Mumbai’s left-handed opening batsman Akhil Herwadkar.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh medium pacer Pankaj Rao has replaced Ishant Sharma, who was initially named in the India Blue squad. Also, Tamil Nadu batsman Kaushik Gandhi, who was originally named in the India Blue squad has been moved to India Green.

The Duleep Trophy 2017 final will be held between September 25 and 29, and the dates overlaps with the unofficial Tests between India A and New Zealand A. There are several players like Gowtham, Priyank Panchal, Rishabh Pant and others, who are a part of both Duleep Trophy and India A squads. It will be interesting to see how the teams ready themselves for the same. Duleep Trophy was originally scrapped from the schedule and it was only after Sourav Ganguly and his technical committee’s intervention that the tournament was announced for this season.

The Karthik-led India Red will face Suresh Raina’s India Blue at the latter’s home ground in Green Park, Kanpur, on Wednesday.

Squads (Updated):

India Blue: Suresh Raina (c), Samit Gohel, Srikar Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Manoj Tiwary, Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Ishan Kishan (wk), Jayant Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Pankaj Rao, Ankit Rajpoot, Sagun Kamat, Jaydev Unadkat

India Red: Gahlaut Rahul Singh, Priyank Panchal, Sudip Chatterjee, Ishank Jaggi, Dinesh Karthik (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Baba Indrajith, Vijay Gohil, Karn Sharma, Basil Thampi, Ashok Dinda, Chama Milind, Prithvi Shaw, Siddarth Kaul, Akhil Herwadkar

India Green: Murali Vijay, Ravikumar Samarth, Prashant Chopra, Varun Aaron, Karun Nair, Ankit Bawne, Parthiv Patel(c/wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Mayank Dagar, Nitin Saini, Aniket Choudhary, Kaushik Gandhi