Ranji Trophy: Nayar dropped for must-win Tripura match

Abhishek Nayar, the veteran all-rounder, has continued to play the mentor's role to youngsters in the change room. However, the cricketer has had little impact on the field.

In a tospy-turvy season for Mumbai, Nayar has tallied a meagre 130 runs at 18.57, and eight wickets at 39.75.   -  M. Vedhan

The Mumbai selectors have omitted Abhishek Nayar, the most experienced cricketer in the change room, for its must-win Ranji Trophy Group C encounter against Tripura, starting at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

Nayar, the veteran all-rounder, has continued to play the mentor's role to youngsters in the change room. However, the cricketer has had little impact on the field, either with his left-arm batting or right-arm medium-pacers.

In a tospy-turvy season for Mumbai, Nayar has tallied a meagre 130 runs at 18.57, and eight wickets at 39.75. It has forced the selection panel to release him for the crunch game. “Due to lack of form, unfortunately we have had to take the call. It's tough, we understand that he is a senior player. But everyone understands that the teams comes first,” chief selector Ajit Agarkar told Sportstar on Wednesday.

Besides Nayar, reserve spinner Aditya Dhumal has made way for left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil. After returning with a tally of 14 wickets from the first four matches, Gohil, the find of the last season, was omitted from the last week's clash against Andhra in Ongole. While Karsh Kothari, who was handed debut in Ongole, has retained his place, reserve spinner Aditya Dhumal has made way for Gohil for a match that Mumbai just cannot afford to lose.

If Mumbai fails to win the match outright, its quest for the 42nd title will be over at the end of the league stage. Considering that it will be up against the minnows in the group, Aditya Tare's men will be hoping to earn the bonus point with a huge win and enter the quarterfinals in style.

The squad: Aditya Tare (Capt), Suryakumar Yadav (Vice-capt), Jay Bista, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Siddhesh Lad, Akash Parkar, Karsh Kothari, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Minad Manjrekar, Vijay Gohil, Akhil Herwadkar, Sufiyan Shaikh.