Ranji Trophy: Dhawal Kulkarni back in Mumbai squad for Saurashtra tie

Ranji Trophy: Dhawal Kulkarni back in Mumbai squad for Saurashtra tie

Kulkarni, who has 22 international wickets in 14 games (12 ODIs and 2 T20Is), has played three matches in the current Ranji season.

Dhawal Kulkarni
Dhawal Kulkarni. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

This Ranji Trophy season, Mumbai have made the headlines mostly for wrong reasons except for their consistent performer Shivam Dube. The 41-time champions have failed to win a single match in the current season which took off on November 1 and are languishing at No.6 out of nine teams in Elite Group A with eight points out of five games. The side takes on table-toppers Saurashtra in their next game starting Saturday at home. Saurashtra have 25 points from six games with three wins and three games.

Mumbai, however, got a boost ahead of the encounter with the return of Dhawal Kulkarni, the senior pacer who chipped in as the captain for the side in the absence of Ajinkya Rahane who is busy doing national duty in Australia at the moment, along with Prithvi Shaw. The squad was announced by the Mumbai Cricket Association on its website on Wednesday and the captain is in-form batsman Siddesh Lad.

Mumbai need to get their first win fast

Kulkarni, who 22 international wickets in 14 games (12 ODIs and 2 T20Is), has played three matches in Ranji Trophy so far taking eight wickets with the best of 3 for 71 against Gujarat last month which his team lost. In 85 first-class games, the 30-year-old medium-fast bowler has 260 scalps and also has a decent average of 26-plus with eight fifties. Mumbai need to win the game against Saurashtra to stay in the hunt for a berth in the quarter-finals for only the top five teams of the combined table will qualify. The former champions are at No.13 at the moment.

Mumbai’s top performer this season Dube bagged a hefty deal in the auction for the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League when he was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 5 crore after starting at a base price of Rs 20 lakh.

Mumbai squad for Saurashtra tie:

Siddhesh Lad (captain), Dhawal Kulkarni, Aditya Tare, Minad Manjrekar, Eknath Kerkar, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer, Jay Bista, Vikrant Auti, Karsh Kothari, Shubham Ranjane, Dhrumil Matkar, Akash Parkar, Royston Dias, and Tanush Kotian.

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