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October 23, 2007
Mumbai have picked Iqbal Abdulla, the 17-year-old left-arm spinner, and dropped the experienced Nilesh Kulkarni from their squad for the first two matches of the Ranji Trophy.
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar explained the rationale behind choosing Abdulla. "Iqbal has done well in the age-group tournaments recently," he said. "Besides, he is an allrounder and is young. He also has a good temperament."
Vengsarkar, however, said that Kulkarni still has a chance to return to the side. "Nilesh has been a fantastic servant of Mumbai cricket for almost a decade. And we haven't written him off."
Kulkarni, whose ten-wicket haul against Gujarat in the Ranji league stage last year rescued a floundering campaign, had been left out of the final in controversial circumstances. He was also not part of the Mumbai squad for the Mohammad Nissar Trophy or the Irani Trophy either.
The squad has four changes from the side that played the Irani Trophy earlier this month: Ramesh Powar has returned to the side and wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant has recovered after undergoing a knee surgery. Legspinner Bhavesh Patel and left-arm batsman Anoop Revandkar are the newcomers.
Amol Muzumdar and Pravin Amre have retained their respective positions as captain and coach of the side.
Squad Amol Muzumdar (capt), Ajit Agarkar (vice-capt), Wasim Jaffer, Sahil Kukreja, Ajinkya Rahane, Prashant Naik, Hiken Shah, Abhishek Nayar, Ramesh Powar, Vinayak Samant (wk), Aavishkar Salvi, Rajesh Verma, Iqbal Abdulla, Anoop Revandkar, Bhavesh Patel Coach: Pravin Amre
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