Fit-again Kulkarni a boost for Mumbai ahead of final

Medium-pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who did not play the semifinal against Madhya Pradesh due to injury, is fit again to participate in the five-day final against Saurashtra in Pune.

Dhawal Kulkarni picked up a hamstring injury in the quarterfinal against Jharkhan in Mysuru.   -  K. Murali Kumar (File Photo)

Mumbai has been strengthened with the availability of its pace spearhead Dhawal Kulkarni for the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra, to be played in Pune from February 24. Kulkarni has been included in the 15-member squad at the expense of Sagar Trivedi by the selection panel, headed by former Mumbai captain Milind Rege.

Kulkarni had pulled his hamstring during the quarterfinal against Jharkhand and had thus been sidelined for last week’s semifinal against Madhya Pradesh. Balwinder Singh Sandhu rose to the occasion, picking a five-for in Kulkarni’s absence. If the Mumbai team management prefers to stick to its three-pacer theory, Badre Alam is likely to make way for Kulkarni.

The Mumbai squad:

Aditya Tare (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Akhil Herwadkar Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Patil, Dhawal Kulkarni, Vishal Dabholkar, Iqbal Abdullah, Shardul Thakur, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Badre Alam, Bhavin Thakkar and Sufiyan Shaikh.