Ajinkya Rahane's unavailability for Ranji Trophy disappoints the Mumbai selectors
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Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane made himself unavailable for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy season opener against Madhya Pradesh in Indore from October 14.
When the Mumbai selectors sat for the selection meeting, Ajinkya, who is currently holidaying in Seychelles, informed them that won't be available for the clash.
"He's informed us that he's unavailable for selection for this game," Mumbai's chief selector and former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said.
A source in the Mumbai Cricket Association admitted that the selectors were surprised and disappointed as they didn't expect this from a dedicated player like Rahane.
"Frankly, the selectors were surprised, rather shocked and disappointed about it. They didn't expect this from a dedicated player like him. India's last ODI, against Australia, was on October 1. He was dropped for the ongoing T20 International series against Australia, and the first ODI against New Zealand is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on October 22. Generally, a two-week break is enough for a player. With Mumbai missing a few top players, Rahane's presence would've really helped," the source said.
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In spite of having a great ODI series against Australia, Indian opener Ajinkya Rahane was not included in the Indian T20I squad. This decision left some of the former Indian cricketers fuming. Ajinkya, in the meantime, has been holidaying in Seychelles with his wife and one would have expected that the right-hander will be available for Mumbai's Ranji Trophy season opener against MP.
Mumbai are already without some of their main players as the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur (Board PresidentsXI vs New Zealanders) are busy with the India A squad that is taking part in a five-match ODI series against New Zealand A. Adding to that, Mumbai won't be without their pacers Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Tushar Deshpande as they are still recovering from an injury.
The unavailability of their top players left few MCA officials fuming. "Is a warm-up game more important, or is the Ranji Trophy more significant? It looks like the premier domestic tournament may lose its sheen too," said the source.
In the absence of all the big names, the 41-time Ranji champions have named a young squad led by Aditya Tare.
Squad: Aditya Tare (Captain), Surya Kumar Yadav (Vice Captain), Abhishek Nayar, Akhil Herwadkar, Siddhesh Lad, Jay Bista, Sufiyan Shaikh, Vijay Gohil, Akash Parkar, Roystan Dias, Minad Manjrekar, Aditya Dhumal, Shivam Malhotra, Shubham Ranjane, Eknath Kerkar.
Ajinkya Rahane was dropped from the Indian T20I side and flew to Seychelles for a vacation. There is nothing wrong in that but the Indian Test vice-captain should have been available to play in the Ranji Trophy if the Mumbai selectors had summoned him rather than sending his unavailability for the clash. A lot of Indian cricketers are taking part in the ongoing tournament during their off time. If they can do so, why can't Rahane?
At the same time, there is no reason for the MCA should be fuming at the loss of all their top players. Every team lost their top players when there is a warm-up game or an A series going on simultaneously. Getting picked in those squads will only improve the confidence of the players and even the players will prefer playing those matches compared to the Ranji Trophy.