All-rounder Vijay Shankar was named captain of the Tamil Nadu team for the Ranji Trophy, beginning on December 9.

In-form batsman Baba Aparajith will be Vijay Shankar’s deputy as Tamil Nadu look to continue their strong start to the domestic season. The southern state has already reached the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy (50-over tournament) and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 (20-over tournament) in the 2019-’20 season.

The team was announced by the State Selection Committee of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and includes India’s premier off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandran and out of favour opener M Vijay.

Vijay missed the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy due to an injury but is back for the longer format in the domestic season with an eye winning his place back in the national Test team.

It was also reported that the coach of the side D Vasu wanted Ashwin to be named captain but the selectors opted for Vijay Shankar because the latter is likely to be available for the entire season.

“We respect Vasu’s views and acknowledge the enormous contribution of R. Ashwin but we held the view that it would be difficult to replace the captain at the knock-out stage,” chairman of selection panel Senthilnathan told Sportstar.

Baba Indrajith, who captained the side last year, is not in the squad while Dinesh Karthik finds a place at the start of the first-class season after missing out on the first four matches last season.

The team was selected for the first two Ranji Trophy matches against Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh which starts from December 9.

Washington Sundar will join the team for the second match and K Mukunth will be released from the squad.

Squad (for first two rounds): Vijay Shankar (Captain), Baba Aparajith (Vice Captain), M Vijay, Abhinav Mukund, K Dinesh Karthik, N Jagadeesan, R Ashwin, R Sai Kishore, T Natarajan, K Vignesh, Abhishek Tanwar, M Ashwin, M Siddharth, Shahrukh Khan, K Mukunth.