|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
December 28, 2012
Zaheer Khan is set to become Mumbai's 41st captain because a groin strain is likely to rule out regular captain Ajit Agarkar from their Group A Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat, beginning on Saturday at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Both Zaheer, who bowled 40 overs to help Mumbai win their first game of the season, and Agarkar, who pulled his groin on the last day of that game, were doubtful starters at the beginning of Mumbai's practice on the eve of the Gujarat game. However, with Mumbai needing to secure at least three points to progress to the next stage of the Ranji Trophy, it was a relief that Zaheer didn't feel any pain during his spell in the nets.
Agarkar, on the other hand, preferred not to bowl, like he has been doing on most pre-match days. Taking into consideration the importance of the game, the Mumbai team management decided it wasn't worth risking a player in a big match. "There's no point in taking a risk of going in with a half-fit bowler," a source told ESPNcricinfo. "If he breaks down in the middle of the match, it could cost the team dearly."
In Agarkar's absence earlier in the season, middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma had captained Mumbai. However, with Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane playing for India's Twenty20 team, Zaheer was the obvious choice to lead.
When Zaheer walks out for the toss on Saturday morning, it may come as a shock to his Gujarat counterpart Parthiv Patel, because Agarkar had attended the captains' meeting on Friday. It will be a proud moment for Zaheer, though. He had shifted to Mumbai from Shrirampur, a village in Maharashtra, as a teenager, and was a part of the squad for the 1995-96 Ranji Trophy knockouts.
However, a lack of opportunities forced him to break away from Mumbai and join Baroda. His exploits with Baroda not only helped the team lift the Ranji title in 2000-01 but also led to him making his international debut. Since returning to Mumbai in 2006-07, Zaheer has taken 43 wickets in nine games.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and defeat
The former Indian openers haven't been shining lately, but the IPL presents an opportunity for them to show their class
Having the top Associate team play the lowest-ranked Test side without the threat of relegation shows how votes mean more to the ICC than results
They were making good progress in building a world-class side, but not getting rid of Kevin Pietersen after the texting saga in 2012 cost them greatly
Brian Lara's 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, while the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash
If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, they need to look within and search for inspiration pronto