England in India 2012-13 December 5, 2012

Harbhajan, Rahane released for Ranji Trophy

ESPNcricinfo staff
18

Offspinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who have been part of India's squad for all three Tests against England, will join their respective Ranji Trophy teams for the next group game that begins on Saturday. The third Test of the four-match India-England series is currently underway in Kolkata, but neither player is part of the Indian XI.

This decision is in line with the policy adopted by the India team management over the past four seasons, by which as many players as possible are released from the national squad for Ranji games during home series'. This is done with a view to help the reserves remain match-fit.

Harbhajan and Rahane will fly from Kolkata to Mumbai on Thursday, to join Punjab and Mumbai - these teams will play each other at the Wankhede Stadium in the next round of Ranji games. The pair, along with most of the other India regulars, featured in the season-opening round of the Ranji Trophy matches from November 2. While Harbhajan could make little impact with the ball as the Punjab captain against Hyderabad, Rahane scored 129 and 84 for Mumbai against Railways.

The players' availability will be a major boost for both teams, in particular Mumbai; Punjab, with young batsman Mandeep Singh at the helm, have already assured themselves of a place in the knockouts with four victories in five matches, but Mumbai are yet to win this season.

Harbhajan, having recovered from a viral infection, featured in India's humiliating ten-wicket defeat against England at the Wankhede Stadium. Rahane is yet to play in the Test series. The final game of the four-Test series will begin in Nagpur on December 13.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 8, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Some people given ter comments but don't forgot dhoni gave a lot of relief to two world cups before that we hoped for that only.....please people stop giving free advices ...

    bhaji didn't proved his strength in last year even though board given lots of chances that y he failed come again ...adding on that if some one is head of the team you give him like i don't hear your voice then u will out of team

    Dhoni will be ter and ashwin will be ter this not any individual game if tey fail to perform tey have to step down stop the nonsense please think my dear friends

    Think think we are just watching this game now frm childhood ......

    So don't be in a mood of only wining then the next game will not have that much of interest to watch and the opposition is not the weaker one ...

  • on December 7, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Hope atleast in the last test selectors will make some "SENSIBLE" decisions & give chances to new talents.....TIWARY for YUVRAJ, RAHANE for GAMBHIR, SAHA/KAUL for DHONI, AMIT MISHRA for ASHWIN, YADAV for ISHANT & PANKAJ SINGH for ZAHEER....SEHWAG should be made the captain...while one between UDAY KAUL or WRIDHHIMAN SAHA should be played in place of DHONI....

    We already are lagging in this series...they why not go with someone who r desperate to make up their mark...instead of just trying "out-of-form" players.

  • on December 7, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    singh should only be playing ranji...

  • SoverBerry2 on December 7, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Why Rahane? He should be in the squad for the next Test! Poor guy...

  • on December 7, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    absence of dravid n laxman ......dhoni not suitale for tests..not scoring runs..averaging mere 37.... last ten innings ..17, 3, 74*, 77, 5, 0, 28, 16, 74, 5[before of this test]..that is very poor for a captain should take rest from test for sometime...should accept his poor form....

  • arvsingh on December 6, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Harbhajan should be playing in the test in place of toothless Ashwin. Looks like the dull and boring R. Ashwin has the support of Dhoni, CSK, Srinivasan, and BCCI. Whatever happened to his so called "Mystery Ball"? No wonder Harbhajan never got the opportunity to succeed in Mumbai. Dhoni did not gave ball to him till the English batsmen were all set. And then he only got to bowl half of the overs given to Ojha and Ashwin. Did the selectors forget that Harbhajan took 5 wickets against the same England to beat them convincingly in Srilanka in 2012 T20 world cup? All will be perfectly fine if Ashwin takes 2-3 wickets in this test. The friendly media will hail him as the best thing ever happened to Indian Cricket. Articles will celebrate how Ashwin and Ojha compliment each other and how bad of a bowler Harbhajan is. This is no way to treat a star performer who served the country with 400+ wickets in 99 tests. We need Harbhajan's aggression back ... and we want him back in the team NOW.

  • CricketMaan on December 6, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I guess these two are sent back to get some cricket and form so can displace Ashwin and ?? in Nagpur. But if this policy is true, then Ishant should have been released during Mumbai test to get some form and wickets, rather than playing a Test without match practise. Also, Dinda is in ripe form and fitness and also among wickets, Eden was the perfect place to play him ahead of ishant. Now we stare 2-1 at the end of this test.

  • SachinSawant16feb on December 6, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    @Satish619chandar, we should say that Ajinkya will make diff to Mumbai team and will get good match practice, as he already proved himself in very short time (I have played with him at club level) he deserve a chance in 11, though he is an opener he can still play at position where Virat is playing, remember Gangully, Dravid, ponting all started their career at middle order (they were opener at their respective domestic teams), also we can think about Manoj Tiwary as an option

  • sramesh_74 on December 6, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Can the BCCI release Yuvraj also?

  • SachinSawant16feb on December 6, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    This is really not happening, why Ajinkya Rahane sent back to domestic circuit, he should get chance in at least in last test at Nagpur, why virat kohli is still in final 11? He never looked like a test batsman in this series or never looked eager to save his position, i donno know when Ajinkya, Abhinav mukund, Shikhar Dhawan and few rest will get chance, this guys are already scoring lots of runs but still away from international arena, are selectors expecting from them to score 500 runs in an innings, then ALL THE BEST guys,

  • on December 8, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Some people given ter comments but don't forgot dhoni gave a lot of relief to two world cups before that we hoped for that only.....please people stop giving free advices ...

    bhaji didn't proved his strength in last year even though board given lots of chances that y he failed come again ...adding on that if some one is head of the team you give him like i don't hear your voice then u will out of team

    Dhoni will be ter and ashwin will be ter this not any individual game if tey fail to perform tey have to step down stop the nonsense please think my dear friends

    Think think we are just watching this game now frm childhood ......

    So don't be in a mood of only wining then the next game will not have that much of interest to watch and the opposition is not the weaker one ...

  • on December 7, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Hope atleast in the last test selectors will make some "SENSIBLE" decisions & give chances to new talents.....TIWARY for YUVRAJ, RAHANE for GAMBHIR, SAHA/KAUL for DHONI, AMIT MISHRA for ASHWIN, YADAV for ISHANT & PANKAJ SINGH for ZAHEER....SEHWAG should be made the captain...while one between UDAY KAUL or WRIDHHIMAN SAHA should be played in place of DHONI....

    We already are lagging in this series...they why not go with someone who r desperate to make up their mark...instead of just trying "out-of-form" players.

  • on December 7, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    singh should only be playing ranji...

  • SoverBerry2 on December 7, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Why Rahane? He should be in the squad for the next Test! Poor guy...

  • on December 7, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    absence of dravid n laxman ......dhoni not suitale for tests..not scoring runs..averaging mere 37.... last ten innings ..17, 3, 74*, 77, 5, 0, 28, 16, 74, 5[before of this test]..that is very poor for a captain should take rest from test for sometime...should accept his poor form....

  • arvsingh on December 6, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    Harbhajan should be playing in the test in place of toothless Ashwin. Looks like the dull and boring R. Ashwin has the support of Dhoni, CSK, Srinivasan, and BCCI. Whatever happened to his so called "Mystery Ball"? No wonder Harbhajan never got the opportunity to succeed in Mumbai. Dhoni did not gave ball to him till the English batsmen were all set. And then he only got to bowl half of the overs given to Ojha and Ashwin. Did the selectors forget that Harbhajan took 5 wickets against the same England to beat them convincingly in Srilanka in 2012 T20 world cup? All will be perfectly fine if Ashwin takes 2-3 wickets in this test. The friendly media will hail him as the best thing ever happened to Indian Cricket. Articles will celebrate how Ashwin and Ojha compliment each other and how bad of a bowler Harbhajan is. This is no way to treat a star performer who served the country with 400+ wickets in 99 tests. We need Harbhajan's aggression back ... and we want him back in the team NOW.

  • CricketMaan on December 6, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I guess these two are sent back to get some cricket and form so can displace Ashwin and ?? in Nagpur. But if this policy is true, then Ishant should have been released during Mumbai test to get some form and wickets, rather than playing a Test without match practise. Also, Dinda is in ripe form and fitness and also among wickets, Eden was the perfect place to play him ahead of ishant. Now we stare 2-1 at the end of this test.

  • SachinSawant16feb on December 6, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    @Satish619chandar, we should say that Ajinkya will make diff to Mumbai team and will get good match practice, as he already proved himself in very short time (I have played with him at club level) he deserve a chance in 11, though he is an opener he can still play at position where Virat is playing, remember Gangully, Dravid, ponting all started their career at middle order (they were opener at their respective domestic teams), also we can think about Manoj Tiwary as an option

  • sramesh_74 on December 6, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Can the BCCI release Yuvraj also?

  • SachinSawant16feb on December 6, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    This is really not happening, why Ajinkya Rahane sent back to domestic circuit, he should get chance in at least in last test at Nagpur, why virat kohli is still in final 11? He never looked like a test batsman in this series or never looked eager to save his position, i donno know when Ajinkya, Abhinav mukund, Shikhar Dhawan and few rest will get chance, this guys are already scoring lots of runs but still away from international arena, are selectors expecting from them to score 500 runs in an innings, then ALL THE BEST guys,

  • Haleos on December 6, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    India need someone to support Ojha ASAP. Ashwin is just unpredictable. Goes for many runs and is ineffective on spinning pitches too. Bhajji in his prime was devestating unlike ashwin. And less said about his fielding and fitness the better.

  • on December 6, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Make Bhajji free by permanently releasing from the Indian team atleast he could concentrate on the domestic tournaments and could bring back his form in Domestic atleast

  • SouthPaw on December 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Good move by the team management. Harbhajan needs a lot of Ranji practice to hone his (flagging?) skills and definitely needs to take wickets. For this, he needs to forget batting and focus totally on his bowling.

  • satish619chandar on December 6, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    Bhajji wouldn't make any change to the Punjab team on his current form. ut Rahane can make a bit change to the Mumbai team. Atleast, he can get some real match practice. A decent decision by the selectors to give the guys some game to play rather than coolilng their heels off as substitutes and drinks carriers. Stay on. Should they really release Rahane? He was really useful as substitute when Pujara was injured. Now who will be the substitute if one of the close in fielder gets injured?

  • Nampally on December 6, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    This is first positive move feom BCCI. In the past the benched players wasted their talent. In England they have been doing this for few years now. Finally the penny dropped on BCCI to follow the lead. In fact both Harbhajan & Rahane were surplus - Why have 2 back up openers when there are already 2 regular ones. Similarly why have a back up off spinner when there are already 2. The Selectors need to be more logical & rational in selecting a balanced squad in the first place. A right hand leg spinner + a middle order all rounder could have been better choice - e.g., Jadeja + Mishra/R. Sharma/Tiwary.

  • Giant-Guru on December 6, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    It is beyond my comprehension why Rahane and Mandeep SIngh be given a chance to play in the test series. And why they have to keep trying with Gambhir/Tendulkar or even Yuvraj and Kohli if you are not in form you better sit aside or play in domestic circuit and come back to form....we have more important series coming up but the Board have no clue what to do with all the non-performing oldies....dump them all......give team India a new look......even the captain should go Dhoni is not a test player after all. The board should be made accountable to someone at present they are not accountable to anyone.

  • here2rock on December 6, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    Rahne should been in the third Test instead of wasting his talent playing Ranji Trophy.

  • gnanzcupid on December 5, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    wont harbhajan be a liability in the punjab team which is already performing well???at present monty is 1000 times better than bhajji

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  • gnanzcupid on December 5, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    wont harbhajan be a liability in the punjab team which is already performing well???at present monty is 1000 times better than bhajji

  • here2rock on December 6, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    Rahne should been in the third Test instead of wasting his talent playing Ranji Trophy.

  • Giant-Guru on December 6, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    It is beyond my comprehension why Rahane and Mandeep SIngh be given a chance to play in the test series. And why they have to keep trying with Gambhir/Tendulkar or even Yuvraj and Kohli if you are not in form you better sit aside or play in domestic circuit and come back to form....we have more important series coming up but the Board have no clue what to do with all the non-performing oldies....dump them all......give team India a new look......even the captain should go Dhoni is not a test player after all. The board should be made accountable to someone at present they are not accountable to anyone.

  • Nampally on December 6, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    This is first positive move feom BCCI. In the past the benched players wasted their talent. In England they have been doing this for few years now. Finally the penny dropped on BCCI to follow the lead. In fact both Harbhajan & Rahane were surplus - Why have 2 back up openers when there are already 2 regular ones. Similarly why have a back up off spinner when there are already 2. The Selectors need to be more logical & rational in selecting a balanced squad in the first place. A right hand leg spinner + a middle order all rounder could have been better choice - e.g., Jadeja + Mishra/R. Sharma/Tiwary.

  • satish619chandar on December 6, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    Bhajji wouldn't make any change to the Punjab team on his current form. ut Rahane can make a bit change to the Mumbai team. Atleast, he can get some real match practice. A decent decision by the selectors to give the guys some game to play rather than coolilng their heels off as substitutes and drinks carriers. Stay on. Should they really release Rahane? He was really useful as substitute when Pujara was injured. Now who will be the substitute if one of the close in fielder gets injured?

  • SouthPaw on December 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Good move by the team management. Harbhajan needs a lot of Ranji practice to hone his (flagging?) skills and definitely needs to take wickets. For this, he needs to forget batting and focus totally on his bowling.

  • on December 6, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Make Bhajji free by permanently releasing from the Indian team atleast he could concentrate on the domestic tournaments and could bring back his form in Domestic atleast

  • Haleos on December 6, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    India need someone to support Ojha ASAP. Ashwin is just unpredictable. Goes for many runs and is ineffective on spinning pitches too. Bhajji in his prime was devestating unlike ashwin. And less said about his fielding and fitness the better.

  • SachinSawant16feb on December 6, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    This is really not happening, why Ajinkya Rahane sent back to domestic circuit, he should get chance in at least in last test at Nagpur, why virat kohli is still in final 11? He never looked like a test batsman in this series or never looked eager to save his position, i donno know when Ajinkya, Abhinav mukund, Shikhar Dhawan and few rest will get chance, this guys are already scoring lots of runs but still away from international arena, are selectors expecting from them to score 500 runs in an innings, then ALL THE BEST guys,

  • sramesh_74 on December 6, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Can the BCCI release Yuvraj also?