With Mumbai Ranji team in dire straits, Shreyas Iyer’s availability will be a shot-in-the-arm as Mumbai braces itself for the must-win Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match against Baroda to be played at the Wankhede Stadium from Friday.
The Mumbai selectors have also taken a big call of dropping No. 4 batsman Suryakumar Yadav, who has been struggling for runs.
Shreyas Iyer will arrive in Mumbai hours before the scheduled start of the match. Having missed all of Mumbai’s matches due to his India and India A commitments, Iyer hasn’t been thrust with captaincy. Instead, the selectors have shown faith in Siddhesh Lad to lead the team despite it conceding first innings lead against Maharashtra in his debut match as the leader.
Yadav, who has scored just one hundred in his last 35 innings in first-class cricket, has tallied 230 runs in eight innings this season.
Chief selector Ajit Agarkar cited “lack of form” as the reason for Yadav’s exclusion.
Incidentally, Lad, on Sunday, had tried his best to defend Yadav. When asked whether Yadav’s lack of runs was a concern for the team, Lad said: “The team is not dependent on one batsman, we can blame everyone for that. Not only Surya but we have not got good opening start until this game. He has done well in last so many years, so obviously the other guys also have to take responsibility and do well for the team,” he said.
Yadav isn’t the only casualty of Mumbai’s miserable run in the last two weeks. Armaan Jaffer, with just 11 runs in four innings at No. 5, including two ducks, has been omitted along with pacer Shivam Malhotra, who wasted the new ball on the first day against Maharashtra.
Left-handed batsman Vikrant Auti, who was called up as cover after young opener Bhupen Lalwani had been released from Pune for the Col. C.K. Nayudu (U-23) Trophy game last week, has earned a maiden call-up to the Ranji squad.
Malhotra, meanwhile, has made way for Badre Alam, who returns to the squad.
- WPL 2024: All-round show helps Delhi Capitals thrash UP Warriorz by nine wickets for season’s first win
- Hard work, determination and a bit of kismet: For RCB’s Asha Sobhana, WPL is just the start
- Indian sports wrap, February 26
- NBA: Clippers unveil new uniforms, logo for next season
- Bayern Munich signs Max Eberl as sporting director