Ranji Trophy | Shubham Khajuria replaces Pundir as new J&K captain

Representational Picture
Representational Picture File/GK

Srinagar, Dec 24: After a string of subpar performances, the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) on Saturday fired ShubhamPundir as captain of the J&K senior men’s cricket team and named senior batter ShubhamKhajuria as the new captain.

J&K has had a terrible start to its Ranji Trophy tournament campaign thus far, losing both of its opening two games. Pundir’s continued inability to produce as the team’s primary batter added to the worries.

On Saturday, JKCA announced the team for the next two matches of the Ranji Trophy tournament. Pundir was replaced by Khajuria as the captain of the team and Pundir has also dropped out of the squad. In his place, JKCA has included left-arm spinner from Kashmir TaizeemTak in the squad.

J&K is scheduled to play against Vidarbha in its next match on December 27 at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Maharastra. The fourth is against Railways from January 3 at Karnail Singh Stadium, New Delhi.

In the first match of the tournament, J&K suffered an innings defeat against Madhya Pradesh while suffering a nine-wicket defeat against Gujarat in the second match.

In the absence of stag batter Abdul Samad and out-of-favour senior player ParvezRasool, J&K has performed badly. The inclusion of star pacer Umran Malik for the second also didn’t help much as the pacer was able to bag only one wicket.

Pundir who has been captaining J&K for the last several seasons now has now been able to justify his place. He was backed fully by all the management in JKCA but his stats don’t justify his place in the squad. After making his first-class debut in 2016, ShubhamPundir has played 18 matches for J&K scoring only 647 runs at an average of 22. In the 36 List, A matches Pundir has scored 900 runs at an average of 29. In T20’s, Pundir has played 35 matches scoring 570 runs at an average of 25. For the main batter of the squad, these stats are below par and hence JKCA was left with no option but to drop its captain. 

Team: ShubhamKhajuria, Fazil Rashid, Vivrant Sharma, SuryanshRaina, Shivansh Sharma, Henan Malik, SahilLotra, AbidMushtaq, AuqibNabi, Rohit Sharma, TahirBhat, Umar Nazir, TaizeemTak, MusaifAijaz and Yudhvir Singh.

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