This is perhaps the most high profile start of a Ranji Trophy season in a long time, and one match is at the centre of it all – Mumbai vs Haryana.
There’s been some frenetic activity in Indian domestic cricket over the past few months. This Ranji season will see some discarded seniors trying to make a comeback, some injury ridden stars trying to push their names back into the headlines and some veterans bidding the game goodbye.
Here are the 5 players who will be in focus on the opening day of India’s domestic first-class championship:
5. Shitanshu Kotak (Saurashtra vs Rajasthan at Rajkot)
In this retirement season of veterans, 41-year-old Shitanshu Kotak of Saurashtra, a veteran no less in domestic cricket, will be playing his last first-class game against Rajasthan at his home ground in Rajkot.
Kotak has played for Saurashtra for 20 years since making his debut in December 1992 and is 4 runs short of 8000 first-class runs, a tally he has amassed at an average of 41.64 with the help of 15 centuries.
He has seen the side make the transition from Plate to the Elite League, win the Vijay Hazare trophy in 2007-08, reach the final last year, and after two decades of service, will leave the team a much strong side in Ranji Trophy than before.
While Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Jaydev Unadkat are the more known faces of the side, Kotak was never dropped from the squad in the past two decades and that itself is an indicator of his importance for the team.
The holder of an unfortunate record – Kotak has most runs in Ranji Trophy’s history without winning a title – he’ll be determined to go on a high.