New Delhi: The DDCA's senior selection committee headed by Yashpal Sharma rewarded teenager Himmat Singh by including him in the Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi squad that will host Saurashtra in the opening match of the Ranji Trophy starting December 7.
Another notable inclusion was left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan, who is now back in the fold having served an 18-month dope ban after being found positive for banned substance stanzolol, while playing for KKR in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League.
The 18-year-old Himmat has grabbed a lot of eyeballs with consistent performances for the Delhi U-19 side in the Cooch Behar Trophy and he got his maiden entry into the senior team in place of veteran batsman Mithun Manhas, who is yet to fully recover from his injury. However, Himmat might find it difficult to find a place in the playing eleven.
Manhas will appear for a fitness test on December 3 and if found 100 percent fit, he might just walk into the side.
Veteran left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra has also opted out of the first game and would be available when Delhi play their next round after nearly a two-week gap.
Apart from Gambhir and veteran Virender Sehwag, the other senior Rajat Bhatia is also there in the squad.
Interestingly, Navdeep Saini, whose debut for Delhi was mired in controversy last season, has again been picked at the behest of Gambhir, who had been impressed with the brisk pace that gangly Haryana lad can work up.
Off-spinner Shivam Sharma, who impressed everyone while playing for Kings XI Punjab in the last IPL has also been included.
The other specialist spinner in the squad is slow left-arm bowler Varun Sood, who pipped Pawan Negi to seal his berth. Interestingly, Negi was the 'Player of the Final' in the Champions League T20 with figures of 5/22 for Chennai Super Kings.
Squad: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Virender Sehwag, Unmukt Chand, Milind Kumar, Vaibhav Rawal, Rajat Bhatia, Puneet Bisht (wk), Parvinder Awana, Navdeep Saini, Sumit Narwal, Varun Sood, Shivam Sharma, Himmat Singh, Pradeep Sangwan, Dhruv Shorey. Coach: Vijay Dahiya. Manager: Manoj Kapoor.