Chennai, Oct 29 (UNI) Hoping not to repeat last year's disastrous performance, of having escaped relegation to the Plate Group, Tamil Nadu selectors today infused some young blood for the state Ranji team for the 2007-2008 season, retaining stylish right hand batsman S Badrinath as captain.
The new selection committee axed a few experienced players who had joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as per the BCCI's directive that 'rebels' would not be eligible for selection of BCCI tournaments as well as the national team.
They included former India player Hemang K Badani, Tamilkumaran, Hemanth Kumar, Vasanth Saravanan and Vighnesh, who was seen as a good talent.
With Tamil Nadu struggling to inscribe their name on the coveted Ranji trophy again, after having won it last in 1987 on home turf defeating Railways, the selection committee, headed by coach and former India left hander W V Raman, gave a break to three youngster batsmen R Srinivasan, left hander Abhinav Mukund and medium pacer P Amarnath, all of whom have been showcasing their potential through consistent performances at the junior level and the local senior division league.
''We have a young side even if Badrinath and Dinesh Karthick are away on national duty. We will do well in the new season,'' one of the selectors R Madhavan, himself a former state player, told UNI after the team was announced.
Tamil Nadu begin their Elite Group A campaign with two tough home outings -- against Maharashtra on November three and reigning champions Mumbai from November 15.
''We are confident that this young side would gel as a team. This has been a problem. Tamil Nadu has had many individual talents. But we have not been able to win anything,'' Madhavan observed.
Abhinav Mukund was being seen as a big talent following his good showing, which included knocks of a double century and a century against Sri Lanka Under-19 recently. Srinivasan had been scoring heavily in domestic tournaments and Gopalan Trophy, he pointed out.
Medium pacer Yo Mahesh, who had been in the team and training at the MRF Pace Foundation, was also being seen as future team India material from Tamil Nadu.
The squad: S Badrinath (Capt), M Vijay, S Anirudha, Dinesh Karthick (Wicket Keeper), K Shri Vasudeva Das, R Prasanna, Ashwin, C Ganapathy, V Yo Mahesh, R Naresh, R Srinivasan, P Amarnath, R Ramkumar, Abhinav Mukund, K H Gopinath. Coach W V Raman.