Struggling Bengal axe four players to revive fortunes in Ranji trophy

Kolkata: In a desperate bid to revive their Ranji fortunes, a struggling Bengal today axed four players and named six in a 16-member squad for their Group B league match against leaders Uttar Pradesh, commencing here on December 14.

The six players include promising Under-19 top order batsman Abhimanyu Easwaran, and four players from the U-25 stable consisting skipper Sudip Chatterjee, Sayan Sekhar Mondal, Kaushik Ghosh and Writtick Chatterjee.

Struggling with the absence of their top three regulars -- Manoj Tiwary, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammad Shami -- Bengal also brought in senior left arm pacer Sourav Mondal to bolster the pace department that has veteran Shib Shankar Pal and India discard Ashoke Dinda.

The four discarded Bengal players are Subhomoy Das, Anustup Manjumdar, Rohan Banerjee and Manojit Ghosh.

Slipped to fifth position with 12 points from six outings, the Ashok Malhotra-coached side need a miracle in their remaining Group B league matches to come in top three and make the cut.

The match against Uttar Pradesh will be Bengal`s last outing at home before concluding their Group league in Tamil Nadu.

Uttar Pradesh lead the table, while Railways and Saurashtra are at second and third place, respectively.

The top three sides along with the fourth-placed Tamil Nadu have an advantage, having played one match less vis-a-vis Bengal.

Bengal squad: Laxmi Ratan Shukla (c), Arindam Das, Gitimoy Basu (wk), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Kaushik Ghosh, Writtick Chatterjee, Sandipan Das, Sayan Sekhar Mondal, Sudip Chatterjee, Ashoke Dinda, Shib Shankar Paul, Saurav Sarkar, Sourav Mondal, Saurasish Lahiri, Iresh Saxena and Arnab Nandy.