The Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad for the matches against hosts Andhra (Oct 1-4) and Punjab (Oct 8-11) was announced on Sunday, and 28-year-old leg spinner Vishal Dabholkar features in the side on the strength of his match-winning six for 46 that guided MCA Colts to beat TNCA Districts XI by six wickets in the off-season Buchi Babu All India Invitation Cricket Tournament final in Chennai last month.
Dabholkar took eight wickets from five matches and eight innings last season, and was sidelined after he returned with the figures of 0 for 58 against Tamil Nadu on a turning track of Chepauk.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Harmeet Singh and Balwinder Singh Jr. will be forming the pace attack in the absence of Zaheer Khan, who is battling a fitness problem but was still named in the list of probables, according to DNA.
Batsman Aditya Tare has been named captain, and Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Abhishek Nayar expectedly find a place in the side.
All-rounder Abhishek Raut made it to the team following his impressive show in practice games in Hyderabad recently. “He is a good batsman and leg-spinner. He is also a good fielder. He did well in the practice games in Hyderabad,” said a Mumbai cricket official.
Zaheer Khan’s exclusion from the squad
Reports have emerged that Zaheer’s exclusion from the team is akin to Ishant’s exclusion from the Delhi Ranji team, but Zaheer had missed last season’s action as well because of fitness issues.
“Zaheer is unavailable for the first two matches. Once he confirms his availability, he will be considered for selection,” Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) Joint Honorary Secretary Dr Unmesh Khanwilkar told SUNDAY mid-day on Saturday.
It is learnt that Zaheer, who will turn 37 on October 7, did not attend any pre-season training camps or take part in the two preparatory tours of the Mumbai team in the last couple of months.
Team: Aditya Tare (C), Akhil Herwadkar, Shrideep Mangela, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Abhishek Nayar, Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Patil (Jr.), Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr.), Vishal Dabholkar, Abhishek Raut, Badre Alam, Harmeet Singh
After Delhi left out Ishant, it’s Mumbai’s turn to leave out Zaheer Khan because they don’t know where he is. What’s going on? #RanjiTrophy
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash)
September 27, 2015
— NaiDunia (@Nai_Dunia)
September 27, 2015
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