Ranji Trophy 2013-14 October 15, 2013

Zaheer to lead Mumbai in Ranji opener

Sachin Tendulkar will play his last domestic match under the captaincy of Zaheer Khan, during defending champions Mumbai's Ranji Trophy season opener against Haryana, at Lahli from October 27.

Tendulkar, who will retire at the end of the two-Test series against West Indies in November, will get an opportunity to spend some time at the crease going into the Test series. Zaheer, on the other hand, will be keen to put in an impressive performance and stake a claim for a Test comeback.

Zaheer, however, was named captain only for the Haryana game, with Rohit Sharma being given the leadership for the season. Rohit had led Mumbai during regular captain Ajit Agarkar's absences in the previous season.

Despite the absence of offspinner Ramesh Powar, who moved to Rajasthan, and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan, who was banned for life for his alleged role in IPL spot-fixing, young left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh hasn't found a place in the squad for the first game.

The Mumbai selection panel, headed by former India opener Sudhir Naik, preferred the left-arm spin duo of Iqbal Abdulla and Vishal Dabholkar. They are only two spinners in the squad because of the seamer-friendly conditions in Lahli.

Harmeet, who was let off due to lack of evidence during the BCCI's internal spot-fixing inquiry, has hardly had match practice. His anticipated move to Vidarbha was stalled and he ran drinks for Rajasthan Royals all through Champions League T20. He did not take a wicket in a Times Shield match for Air India last week either. However, on Wednesday, when the Mumbai team was picked, Harmeet took four wickets for Air India.

Squad: Zaheer Khan (capt), Abhishek Nayar (vc), Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Iqbal Abdullah, Vishal Dabholkar, Sufiyan Shaikh, Kaustubh Pawar, Siddhesh Lad, Javed Khan, Hiken Shah, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr), Aditya Tare.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ramachandra on October 21, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    I had hoped Sachin would keep playing domestic cricket. I had even hoped he would play for Yorkshire again. But alas. its sad.

  • James on October 19, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    I think Harmeet Singh should move to some other Ranji team. Mumbai seems to be reluctant to try him out.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    I too pray and want to see Zaheer back. He is a lethal bowler and can bowl just as well with the old ball as he can with the new ball. But sadly India's fast bowling cupboard is quite bare. There is no bench otherwise Ishant would have been history a long time ago.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Hi, I am a Bangladeshi. Have just wake up from bed with a thought - will cricket be the same without Sachin? I feel - no, at least not for me. I have been watching him play since 1990. People like me, who are at their early 30's, have grown watching him play. I feel very sad, very very sad at this moment. He is such a great role model for the game. Apologies of my sudden emotional outburst. Every good thing comes to an end, I know; but I don't know why I suddenly started missing Sachin during our Eid holidays. Everything feel gloomy now. Probably for my love for the game and this great cricketer. My salam to him.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Hope the responsibility of captaincy doesn't affect Zaheer's bowling.I am huge fan of his and am dying to watch him make a comeback.And looking at the team India's current bowling line up,I am praying to god now.

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    I will take a half fit Zaheer in the Indian team than having this excuse for a fast bowler called Ishant Sharma. Like Warne said about Monty that the latter has played his first test match 45 times or so, the same applies for Ishant. He has not learnt anything at all since his early days and has only regressed to the extent that he is a captain's nightmare.

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