Apart from Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, host Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Hyderabad are placed in Elite Group B. D Vasu-coached Tamil Nadu, runner-up to Karnataka in the previous edition, will look to get off to the best possible start.
Despite missing key players such as Ravichandran Ashwin, Thangarasu Natarajan and Washington Sundar, who are on national duty in Australia, Tamil Nadu boasts of a strong squad. Skipper Karthik, vice-captain Vijay Shankar, Baba Aparajith and Baba Indrajith could hold the key in the batting department.
The spin-bowling unit comprises R Sai Kishore, Manimaran Siddharth and leggie Murugan Ashwin, while the pace attack consists of Sandeep Warrier, Aswin Crist, J Kousik and M Mohammed.
Youngsters Pradosh Ranjan Paul, RS Jaganath Sinivas and R Sonu Yadav are also a part of the travelling party. As the selection committee has named a 20-man squad, Tamil Nadu has enough depth in both batting and bowling.
Squad: Dinesh Karthik (c), Vijay Shankar (vc), Baba Aparajith, Baba Indrajith, M Shahrukh Khan, C Hari Nishaanth, Narayan Jagadeesan, KB Arun Karthik, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, M Mohammed, Sandeep Warrier, Murugan Ashwin, R Sai Kishore, Manimaran Siddharth, Aswin Crist, L Suryapprakash, RS Jaganath Sinivas, R Sonu Yadav, J Kousik and G Periyasamy