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After multi-million IPL deal and U-19 World Cup triumph, multi-purpose Raj Angad Bawa set for Ranji Trophy debut | Cricket News

CHANDIGARH: The past few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for young all-rounder Raj Angad Bawa. From taking a fifer in the U-19 World Cup final to bagging a multi-million contract with the Punjab Kings at the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction, Bawa is now set to make his debut in first-class cricket for Chandigarh, as the Ranji Trophy, the country’s premier domestic championship, begins on Thursday.
Along with Bawa, his U-19 World Cup teammate Harnoor Singh, who unfortunately failed to find any takers during the auction, is also expected to make his debut as Chandigarh open their campaign against Hyderabad on Thursday.
The Manan Vohra-led side had forgetful outings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy and will hope to bounce back in red-ball cricket. All-rounder Gurinder Singh has been named Vohra’s deputy.

Raj’s inclusion in the team will boost the Chandigarh middle order that has often been found wanting for runs in the longest format, while his medium pacers will add variety to the bowling attack. The young gun accumulated 252 runs and picked nine wickets in the U-19 World Cup. Harnoor, meanwhile, scored 140 runs in the tournament, with one half-century (88 against Ireland).
Besides the duo, the Chandigarh side will also see the return of diminutive opener Arslan Khan and medium pacer Shresth Nirmohi to the longest format. Nirmohi was the pick of the Chandigarh bowling line-up when the Chandigarh boys last played the Ranji Trophy, a year ago.
Arslan, meanwhile, has always been an impressive left-handed batting option, and has performed well in the limited opportunities.
The middle order will be manned by the likes of Shivam Bhambri, Ankit Kaushik, along with Amrit Lal Lubhana, Arjit Singh followed by stumper Jaskaran Singh Sohi and Gurinder Singh. Singh will also be expected to lead the spin line-up along with the 20-year-old Yuvraj Chaudhary. Gaurav Puri could turn out to be a handy all-round option for the side.
Punjab import Sandeep Sharma, who has had a long association with Manan from their Under-19 days, will be expected to lead the pace bowling alongside the likes of Shresth, Gaurav Gambhir, Rajangad and Jagjit Singh.

Back after a year’s gap, the Ranji Trophy will be played in two phases, and as such in the first phase each team will get to play three matches. Placed in Elite Group B, Chandigarh will take on Baroda and Bengal in their other two encounters.
Like all teams, the Chandigarh boys stayed in mandatory quarantine for five days, which left them only two days of training ahead of the first match. The knockouts, barring the sole pre-quarterfinal, will be held in the post IPL phase starting May 30.
The teams have been advised to keep two Covid-19 reserves in the squad. In case of a Covid outbreak midway into the game, the match will go on provided a team has a minimum of nine fit players.
Both teams will be awarded a point each if the first innings is not completed.
Squads
Chandigarh: Manan Vohra (c), Gurinder Singh (vice-captain), Shivam Bhambri, Mohammad Arslan Khan, Ankit Kaushik, Amrit Lal Lubana, Arjit Singh, Arpit Singh, Jagjit Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Yuvraj Chaudhary, Jaskaran Buttar, Harnoor Singh Pannu, Rajangad Singh Bawa, Sarul Kanwar, Gaurav Puri, Jaskaran Singh Sohi, Shrestha Nirmohi, Aman Bharti, Gaurav Gambhir
Hyderabad: Tanmay Agarwal (c), Tilak Varma, Alankrit Agarwal, Jaweed Ali, Kartikeya Kak, Akshath Reddy, Rohit Rayudu, Chandan Sahani, Adul Ela Ali Quraisi, Rahul Buddhi, Hanuma Vihari, Tanay Thyagarajan, Prateek Reddy, Himalay Agarwal, Mehdi Hassan, Mickil Jaiswal, Chama V Milind, Chinntla Rakshann Readdi, Telukupalli Ravi Teja, PS Chaitanya Reddy

Star-studded Punjab face HP in northern derby
A star-studded Punjab will open their Ranji Trophy Elite Group F campaign against neighbors Himachal Pradesh in the national capital from Thursday. Having narrowly missed the knockout stage in the previous edition of the tournament, the Punjab boys will hope for a winning start to their campaign.
Punjab will once again pin their hopes on skipper Mandeep Singh to lead the scoring charts. He will have in company the likes of Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Anmol Malhotra, Abhishek Sharma and youngsters like Nehal Wadhera and Prabhsimran Singh.
The pace-bowling unit also looks a settled one with Siddharth Kaul leading the charge alongside left-armer Arshdeep Singh and Ludhiana boy Baltej Singh coming in as the third seamer. Leg-spinner Mayank Markande will be responsible for the spin attack.
On the other hand, fresh from their maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title win, Himachal Pradesh won’t be easy opponents on their day.
With experienced campaigners like Rishi Dhawan, Prashant Chopra, Vaibhav Arora and Nikhil Gangta in their ranks and a host of young cricketers around, Punjab can’t afford any complacency.
Squads
Punjab: Abhijeet Garg, Anmolpreet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Jiwanjot Singh, Anmol Malhotra, Mandeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nehal Wadhera, Gurnoor Brar, Sanvir Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Baltej Singh Dhanda, Prabhsimran Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Vinay Choudhary, Prerit Dutta, Siddharth Kaul, Mayank Markande, Ashwani Kumar
Himachal Pradesh: Nikhil Gangta, Ankit Kalsi, Praveen Thakur, Ekant Sen, Nitin Sharma, Abhimanyu Rana, Rishi Dhawan, Pankaj Jaiswal, Raghav Dhawan, Ankush Bains, Prashant Chopra, Vaibhav Arora, Mayank Dagar, Vinay Guletiya, Arpit Guleria, Gurvinder Singh, Akash Vashisht, Shubham Arora, Sidharth Sharma

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