Mumbai makes seven changes to its Ranji QF squad

As if star batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane’s injuries were not enough, pace spearhead Dhawal Kulkarni was also sidelined from the game due to fitness-related issues.

ABHISHEK NAYAR

Mumbai, lead by Abhishek Nayar, will head to the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal without its star players.   -  PTI

A combination of injuries and poor form has resulted in the Mumbai selectors making seven changes to its squad for the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Hyderabad, to be played in Raipur from December 23.

The selection panel, led by former Mumbai captain Milind Rege, made the changes for a variety of reasons. As if star batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane’s injuries were not enough, pace spearhead Dhawal Kulkarni was also sidelined from the game due to fitness-related issues.

From the squad that travelled to Rajkot earlier this month for Mumbai’s last league encounter, the selectors replaced Kulkarni, opener Kaustubh Pawar, middle-order batsmen Armaan Jaffer, Nikhil Patil, Shubham Ranjane, and left-arm spinners Aditya Dhumal and Vishal Dabholkar.

According to Rege, while Ranjane hasn’t recovered after hurting himself during the match against Punjab, Pawar and Jaffer have been dropped following a poor run of scores. Patil was unfortunate since the selectors chose to reward Eknath Kerkar’s consistent high scores in local cricket with a place as reserve batsman.

The selectors, though, did have a reason to smile with middle-order batsman Siddhesh Lad and left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil having recovered from a back and finger injury, respectively.

The squad: Aditya Tare (captain), Abhishek Nayar, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Praful Waghela, Kevin Almeida, Shardul Thakur, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Tushar Deshpande, Royston Dias, Sufiyan Shaikh, Vijay Gohil, Akshay Girap, Eknath Kerkar.