Notwithstanding his lackluster form with the bat, Manoj Tiwary was named captain of the 15-member East Zone squad for the all-India Inter-Zonal Twenty20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to be held in Mumbai from February 12.
Tiwary had scores of 12 and seven for Rest of India in the Irani Trophy and his poor first-class form extended to the just-concluded Inter-state East Zone T20 league where his scores read four, one, 39.
But with former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni ruling himself ‘unavailable’, Tiwary was named to lead a 15-member squad that had Jharkhand’s Saurabh Tiwary as the vice-captain and Ishan Kishan as the wicketkeeper.
Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha missed the cut but he was named among the three standbyes.
There are five players each from East Zone toppers Bengal and Jharkhand who finished last with four losses from as many matches.
Besides Tiwary, others to make the cut from Bengal were Shreevats Goswami, Writtick Chatterjee, Ashoke Dinda and Sayan Ghosh.
Those from Jharkhand to make the cut were Saurabh Tiwary, Ishan Kishan, Ishank Jaggi, Virat Singh and Shahbaz Nadeem.
From Assam, K B Arun Kartik, Pritam Das and Amit Verma made it to the squad, while Odhisa skipper Biplab Samantary and Dhiraj Singh made it to the list.
A K Sarkar is the lone man from Tripura to get enlisted.
As per the new format, the selection meeting was convened by former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly with members of the zonal board — Arup Bhattacharya (Bengal), Debashish Mohanty (Odisha), Ashish Sinha (Jharkhand), Manimoy Roy (Tripura) and Subhrajit Saikia (Assam).
East Zone Squad: Manoj Tiwary (captain), Saurabh Tiwary (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreevats Goswami, KB Arun Karthik, Writtick Chatterjee, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ashoke Dinda, Pritam Das, Sayan Ghosh, Biplab Samantray, Dhiraj Singh, Virat Singh, Amit Verma and AK Sarkar.
Standbyes: Pragyan Ojha, Suryakant Pradhan and Pramod Chandila.