Ajinkya Rahane left Mumbai selectors fuming with his decision to give the team's Ranji Trophy opener a miss as he currently holidays in Seychelles after his heroics in the India-Australia ODI series. Things look bleak for the Mumbai side now, who are currently missing many first-team players.
Mumbai selectors seemed visibly upset when they were informed that Rahane wouldn’t be available for their opening Ranji Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh. The selectors met at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, where Rahane had scored a brilliant 70 runs against Australia two weeks back, as they learnt that Rahane is currently holidaying in Seychelles and wasn't available for selection.
After chief selector Ajit Agarkar informed TOI about his unavailability, a source in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) expressed the ‘disappointment’ among the members of the board. “Frankly, the selectors were surprised, rather shocked and disappointed about it. They didn't expect this from a dedicated player like him.”
This comes at a time when the side is already missing numerous players for some reason or the other. Emerging players like Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, and the experienced Dhawal Kulkarni, are all representing Board President's XI against visitors New Zealand at CCI on October 17 and 19. Apart from them, seamer Shardul Thakur will be participating in India ‘A’ One-dayers against New Zealand 'A', and won't be available.
A fuming MCA member said, “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.”
Mumbai will be kickstarting the campaign under the new coach, Sameer Dighe, who is a former Indian stumper. Keeper-batsman Aditya Tare will lead the side now with seamers Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Tushar Deshpande injured. Young seamers
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.
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