Ignored for India's first Test against the West Indies at home, Harbhajan Singh was named captain of the Punjab Ranji Trophy team that will take on Uttar Pradesh in their opening encounter at Mohali, beginning November 3.
Since Harbhajan was dropped for the first Test, which starts November 6, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) secretary M P Pandove said the off-spinner will be available to play the team in the Ranji tournament whenever he is not involved in any international assignment.
The PCA Senior Selection Committee, convened by Pandove, met under the chairmanship of Chaman Lal Malhotra at the Mohali stadium on Monday and selected the squad for the first two matches after much deliberation among the members.
Vikram Rathore, Cricket Manager of the Punjab team, informed the committee about the knee injury sustained by medium pacer Luv Ablish during Sunday's practice session, which is likely to keep him out of action for about two weeks.
The committee also decided to draft young medium pacer Sandeep Sharma, a member of the India Under-19 team, as a replacement of injured medium pace bowler Luv Ablish.
Other members of the selection committee present are Ashok Khanna from Chandigarh, Arun Sharma, Amritsar, Pankaj Dharmani, Patiala, Harjinder Singh from Jalandhar and Vikram.
Punjab will play Orissa in their second match of the Ranji Trophy tournament at the PCA Stadium, Mohali from November 10-13.
The squad: Harbhajan Singh (C), Sarul Kanwar, Ravi Inder Singh, Karan Goel, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Sidana, Bipul Sharma, Gitansh Khera (WK), Manpreet Singh Gony, Sandeep Sharma, Navdeep Singh Barinder Singh, Amitoz Singh, Vishwas Bhalla and Rajwinder Singh Golu.
Parthiv to lead Gujarat
Parthiv Patel will lead Gujarat in the first two matches of the Ranji Trophy.
Gujarat begin the season with a match against Bengal in Kolkata, from November 3 to 6. They then host Delhi in Valsad from November 10 to 13.
The squad: Parthiv Patel (capt), Niraj Patel, Bhavik Thakar, Priyank Panchal, Rajdeep Darbar (wk), Amit Singh, Ishwar Chaudhary, Rikin Chauhan, Salil Yadav, Rujul Bhatt, Sunny Patel, Prathmesh Parmar, Mehul Patel, Jayesh Makla, Faizal Dudhat. Coach Jayendra Sehgal.
Injured Agarkar to miss Mumbai's Ranji opener
Mumbai suffered a jolt ahead of their Ranji Trophy opener against Railways, on November 3 in Delhi, with experienced pace spearhead Ajit Agarkar being ruled out with injury.
The fast bowler has been replaced by Murtuza Hussain in the Wasim Jaffer-led squad.
The former champions will also be missing the services of Ajinkya Rahane following his selection in the Indian squad for the Test opener against the visiting West Indies, while Sushant Marathe is also on the injury list.
Rahane and Marathe have given way to Prashant Naik and Akhil Herwadkar.
The squad: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ramesh Powar, Kaustubh Pawar, Nikhil Patil jr., Surya Kumar Yadav, Akhil Herwadkar, Prashant Naik, Murtuza Hussain, Avishkar Salvi, Omkar Gurav, Iqbal Abdulla, Ankit Chavan, Dhawal Kulkarni and Kshemal Waingankar.