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Ranji Trophy 2023–2024: Young hopefuls, veterans set out on a new adventure

<p>This season’s Ranji Trophy, which kicks off at different locations around the nation on Friday, will center on three main themes: the need for a new adventure, the need to make a return, and the desire to reclaim past glory.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-338419″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-750×422.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com ranji trophy 20232024 young hopefuls veterans set out on a new adventure ranji tro” width=”1175″ height=”661″ title=”Ranji Trophy 2023–2024: Young hopefuls, veterans set out on a new adventure 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-750×422.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-1024×576.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-390×220.jpg 390w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro-150×84.jpg 150w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-ranji-trophy-20232024-young-hopefuls-veterans-set-out-on-a-new-adventure-ranji-tro.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 1175px) 100vw, 1175px” /></p>
<p>A number of players’ cricket careers may seem to be mostly unaffected by the most recent edition of the top domestic tournament on the periphery, particularly in light of the fact that India’s batting and bowling lineups are all but certain going into Test matches.</p>
<p>For the five-match home series against England later this month, the selectors may also decide without making many changes. Along with this, India will only play red-ball cricket at home against Bangladesh in September due to an abundance of white-ball competitions, such as the T20 World Cup in June and the Indian Premier League.</p>
<p>Thus, it may seem as if there is no need to labor in certain isolated areas of the nation throughout the course of the next month or two. But underneath that stolid exterior of insignificance, there’s really a lot more going on with this Ranji Trophy.</p>
<p>Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, two 35-year-old stalwarts whose Test futures are now in limbo, will be the center of attention.</p>
<p>To keep their names in the selectors’ conversation, Rahane and Pujara will need to score some significant runs in the tournament, particularly when a number of younger cricketers are also fighting for a berth in the national side.</p>
<p>Rahane is going to have to shoulder more weight. The graceful batter will have to guide Mumbai to a much-needed championship in addition to his own comeback.</p>
<p>The 41-time winners have battled to maintain their dominance on the home circuit since their previous Ranji victory, which occurred in the 2015–16 season.</p>
<p>They will be hoping that Rahane, a brilliant strategist and leader, can turn things around for them this time.</p>
<p>Mayank Agarwal of Karnataka, who scored the most runs (990) in the previous season, would also aim to have another outstanding season under his belt.</p>
<p>Agarwal would not want to miss the opportunity to play an opening position in the Indian squad, which is now occupied by captain Rohit Sharma and the youthful Yashasvi Jaiswal.</p>
<p>A few strong candidates are vying for the first spot, including Bengal’s Abhimanyu Easwaran, who is now in South Africa filling in for the injured Ruturaj Gaikwad.</p>
<p>Due to his national obligations, Easwaran has not been included in the state team and will thus not be participating in at least the first-round match.</p>
<p>Then there are a plethora of up-and-coming stars that want to stand out and stay on selectors’ radars.</p>
<p>Despite scoring a ton of runs for Mumbai over the last several seasons, Sarfaraz Khan has not once been able to get entry into the national squad.</p>
<p>In order to get the attention of higher-ups, the aggressive right-hander will try to go on in the same manner in the next season.</p>
<p>Additionally, the bowling supply will be closely examined.</p>
<p>The veteran bowler Mohammed Shami’s injury-induced absence and the disappointing performance of Prasidh Krishna against South Africa have shown how few backup alternatives there are for fast bowling, at least in the conventional format.</p>
<p>In light of this, some highly anticipated players for the next season include Vidwath Kaverappa of Karnataka, Vysakh Vijayakumar, who had a stellar season in 2022–2023, Arzan Nagwaswalla of Gujarat, Ishan Porel of Bengal, and others.</p>
<p>In addition to these youthful players, seasoned seamer and skipper of Saurashtra Jaydev Unadkat will also be looking for a strong performance to stay in the running because he can provide that left-arm variation to the assault.</p>
<p>Manav Suthar, a 21-year-old left-arm spinner from Rajasthan who claimed 44 wickets in eight games the previous season, will be closely watched among the spinners.</p>
<p>Suthar will be hoping to further establish his image as a skillful spinner and useful lower-order batsman, which has already earned him much praise in the cricket community.</p>
<p><strong>Groups and teams:</strong></p>
<p>Saurashtra, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Haryana, Services, Manipur include Elite Group A.</p>
<p>Bengal, Andhra, Mumbai, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Bihar comprise Elite Group B.</p>
<p>Karnataka, Punjab, Railways, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Tripura, and Chandigarh comprise Elite Group C.</p>
<p>Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Baroda, Delhi, Odisha, Pondicherry, and Jammu and Kashmir comprise Elite Group D.</p>
<p>Plate Group: Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Hyderabad, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Nagaland.</p>
<p>At 9.30 AM IST, the matches begin.</p>

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