2017-18 Ranji Trophy: KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav not to play Ranji Trophy quarters
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Ahead of the all-important Ranji Trophy quarter-final, it is unlikely that Karnataka opener KL Rahul and Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav will play their respective team’s matches.
It has been understood that Umesh has developed a niggle while bowling in the second Test against Sri Lanka in his home ground Nagpur and didn't feature in the Indian XI for the third Test. According to a Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) official's exclusive chat with The Hindu, the pacer has been advised to report at the NCA in Bengaluru for a rehabilitation programme in order to recover in time for India’s departure to South Africa in the last week of December."
The reports also said that "the team management, in consultation with the chairman of national selection panel M.S.K. Prasad, has decided against releasing Rahul for the key clash. Despite not featuring in India’s ODI squad, the team management is understood to have decided to “preserve” Rahul for the forthcoming Twenty20 series and, more importantly, the tour of South Africa."
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The Indian team management has the habit of releasing the players, who are not a part of the Indian playing XI (only when playing at home) that coincides with a Ranji Trophy match and ask them to play in the domestic tournament to keep themselves match-fit.
The moment Virat Kohli announced that KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav make way for Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammad Shami during the Toss on day one of the third Test, VCA and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) requested the BCCI to release their key players for the quarterfinal clashes.
The quarter-finals of the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy will get underway on December 7 and will take place till December 11.
Karnataka v Mumbai, Nagpur
Delhi v Madhya Pradesh, Vijayawada
Gujarat v Bengal, Jaipur
Kerala v Vidarbha, Surat
In Umesh's case, it is understood that he is suffering from an injury and the board wants to have him fit for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
But, Rahul, who was not a part of the third Test and the ODI series, should have been released to play in Ranji Trophy so that he will get some much-needed match practice.