Ranji Trophy: Mumbai brings in Prithvi Shaw for semis

Prithvi Shaw, a 17-year-old batsman, has been brought in for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy semifinal. It is the only change made to Mumbai's 15-man squad that featured in the quarterfinal against Hyderabad.

Mumbai has been forced to make the change due to injuries to its batsmen Akhil Herwadkar and Shubham Ranjane.   -  PTI

Mumbai has brought in 17-year-old batsman Prithvi Shaw for its Ranji Trophy semifinal, to be played in Rajkot from January 1. Shaw’s inclusion in place of opening batsman Kevin d’Almeida is the only change to Mumbai’s 15-member squad that returns from Raipur after beating Hyderabad by 30 runs in the quarterfinal.

“All the selectors consulted with the coach and the captain and felt that we should reward Prithvi for his performances. Anyway, the final combination will be decided depending on the conditions in Rajkot,” Milind Rege, the chief selector, told Sportstar on Wednesday.

Rege watched the proceedings in Raipur from the sidelines for the first three days. Left-handed d’Almeida, who made a return to the Ranji Trophy after two years on the back of a triple century, looked out of sorts, scoring 9 and 1 at the top of the order. He also dropped a regulation catch in the slips in Hyderabad’s second innings.

Shaw, on the other hand, has for almost a decade now been touted as one for the future. He, along with Sarfaraz Khan and Armaan Jaffer, have been billed as the torch-bearers of Mumbai’s tradition of batsmanship ever since they started plundering runs at will in school cricket. While Sarfaraz has moved to Uttar Pradesh and lost his place midway through this year’s Ranji Trophy, Jaffer failed to translate his age-group heroics in first-class cricket and lost his place in the side; he scored 44 runs in six innings in this year’s Ranji Trophy.

Shaw was a part of India’s victorious Asia Cup Under-19 tournament, under the tutelage of coach Rahul Dravid. He scored 75 runs from two innings while opening the batting.

Injuries

Shaw’s inclusion has been forced by a string of injuries to Mumbai batsmen this season. Akhil Herwadkar, the main opener, is yet to be match-fit after fracturing his ankle in the league stage. Shubham Ranjane, who impressed in the limited opportunities, also suffered an injury during his match-saving effort against Bengal. Star batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma haven’t conveyed anything about their return to the field, according to Rege.

Even in the bowling department, Mumbai will continue to miss pace spearhead Dhawal Kulkarni, who has missed a better part of the season due to a knee injury.

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