Mumbai announce the Ranji Trophy squad, Rahane to miss the opening game

Mumbai announce the Ranji Trophy squad, Rahane to miss the opening game

Top India players giving Ranji Trophy a miss isn't a rare phenomenon.

Ajinkya Rahane India
Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane plays a shot. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mumbai has announced the Ranji Trophy squad for the ongoing season and Ajinkya Rahane is all set to miss the opening game. The Indian opener informed about his unavailability for the match against Madhya Pradesh which will be played on October 14. He is currently enjoying his time off the field in Seychelles with his wife. However, Aditya Tare has been appointed as the captain once again and will lead a new look side.

The 41-time champions side will miss the services of some of their top players at least for the first game. They will miss the services of in-form batsmen Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, and experienced seamer Dhawal Kulkarni, who’ll turn out for Board President’s XI against the visiting New Zealand side at CCI on October 17 and 19. Also, the seamer Shardul Thakur won’t be available as he will be busy with the One-Dayers against New Zealand A side.

A warm-up game more important?

The chief selector of Mumbai and the former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar informed the news of the unavailability of Ajinkya Rahane. “He’s informed us that he’s unavailable for selection for this game,” he told TOI. The sources in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) even expressed disappointment over Rahane giving Ranji Trophy game a miss.

“Frankly, the selectors were surprised, rather shocked and disappointed about it. They didn’t expect this from a dedicated player like him. India’s last ODI, against Australia, was on October 1. He was dropped for the ongoing T20 International series against Australia, and the first ODI against New Zealand is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on October 22. Generally a two-week break is enough for a player. With Mumbai missing a few top players, Rahane’s presence would’ve really helped,” the source said as quoted by Times of India.

He was also miffed about losing the top players for the warm-up matches against New Zealand. Is a warm-up game more important, or is the Ranji Trophy more significant? It looks like the premier domestic tournament may lose its sheen too,” fumed a source. Mumbai are playing under a new coach, former India wicketkeeper Sameer Dighe, this time. Aditya Tare will lead the side, and with seamers Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Tushar Deshpande injured, young pacers Roystan Dias and Minad Manjrekar, who’s received a maiden Mumbai Ranji call-up, have found a berth.

Squad: Aditya Tare (Captain), Surya Kumar Yadav (Vice Captain), Abhishek Nayar, Akhil Herwadkar, Siddhesh Lad, Jay Bista, Sufiyan Shaikh, Vijay Gohil, Akash Parkar, Roystan Dias, Minad Manjrekar, Aditya Dhumal, Shivam Malhotra, Shubham Ranjane, Eknath Kerkar.