Ranji Trophy 2012-13 October 26, 2012

Tendulkar, Zaheer to play Mumbai's first Ranji game

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Ranji Trophy has received a big boost with the selection of Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan for Mumbai's first match, against Railways at Wankhede Stadium. The season kicks off on November 2, and it is understood that both Tendulkar and Zaheer wanted to get some first-class match time before the Test series against England, which begins on November 15. Ajit Agarkar had already been named captain for the first four Mumbai games. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are the other attractions in the strong 13-member Mumbai squad, to go with domestic warhorses Ramesh Powar and Abhishek Nayar.

Tendulkar's last Ranji Trophy appearance was Mumbai's final win in 2008-09. Apart from being Mumbai's 38th Ranji title, the match is also remembered for Tendulkar's first first-class duck in Indian domestic cricket. Tendulkar has been going through a lean patch in Test cricket. His last century came in January 2011, and despite looking in good touch in Australia, he didn't score more than 80 in an innings. When he was bowled three times in three innings against New Zealand, former cricketers and commentators, including Sunil Gavaskar, showed concern over his form.

Having played in the Champions League T20 after the New Zealand series, Tendulkar showed eagerness to play some first-class cricket before the big Test season ahead. India play four Tests each against England and Australia.

Zaheer last played for Mumbai just before leaving for Australia last year. He, too, hasn't been in great form since India's World Cup win in 2011. He last took a Test five-for in October 2010. His fitness and endurance have been a concern too. He has played only seven Tests since the World Cup, breaking down in England.

Wasim Jaffer, Suryakumar Yadav and Harmeet Singh were the significant names names missing in the Mumbai squad. Jaffer, the all-time leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy, has asked for leave for Haj pilgrimage. Harmeet is out with a finger injury. Yadav will lead the MCA XI against England A in a tour game that will clash with the Ranji season opener. Consider all these uncertainties, the Mumbai selectors have named the squad only for the first match.

Mumbai squad Ajit Agarkar (capt.), Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Ramesh Poawr, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ankeet Chavan, Kaustubh Pawar, Iqbal Abdulla, Aditya Tare (wk), Akhil Herwadkar (wk)

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 30, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    this will be an acid test for tendulkar. based on his performance only he should be a part of the test team. more youngsters are awaiting their chance

  • RamShankarS on October 30, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    If the captain need to drop a non-performer, he should drop himself first, and be a non-playing captain (I don't know where they can be one). Sachin, despite the so-called-bad-form, is the second highest averaged test player for India after Kohli. Will the captain drop all those batsmen below Sachin before dropping him?

  • StatisticsRocks on October 29, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    So now he is going to block a career of a young cricketer at the domestic level....How selfish can one get.....Will he be dropped from Indian test team if he scores a pair of ducks in this domestic game. I guess not.

  • on October 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    If Ranji start paying in 7 figure pay, these money making machine not ignore to play domestic cricket.it's just play for fun not for practice. what happen if they fail to impress they will not selected in Team India same as any junior player...

  • itsthewayuplay on October 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Unfortunately at their stage of their respective careers this is probably too little too late. The selectors and captain should be strong enough to drop any player for not performing whatever the reason and they then return to the domestic game to prove form and fitness and earn their place in the squad again. Hope it's is more than a token gesture in response to crticism.

  • paps1889 on October 29, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    The bowling attack of Railways is very very weak in comparison to the English bowling attack.. So, it is a useless practice match for Tendulkar. I think it is the time to look forward, Parvinder Awana, Ashok Dinda should given a chance instead of old zaheer.

  • Akshita29 on October 28, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    What if they fail poorly in the Ranji match (although not likely to happen)????

  • grizzle on October 28, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Good decision by Tendulkar and Zak to play in the Ranji Trophy. If only they could play a few more games before England arrive! It would be a boon both to them and the players in the Mumbai squad.

  • india26 on October 28, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    All the critics of Tendulkar , one thing is sure even you guys pray for Tendulkar success from some corner of ur heart. Challenge you cant deny this fact

  • ramarama on October 28, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Great achievement ! At last they have been selected to ply Ranji! It will be an insult to them.

  • on October 30, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    this will be an acid test for tendulkar. based on his performance only he should be a part of the test team. more youngsters are awaiting their chance

  • RamShankarS on October 30, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    If the captain need to drop a non-performer, he should drop himself first, and be a non-playing captain (I don't know where they can be one). Sachin, despite the so-called-bad-form, is the second highest averaged test player for India after Kohli. Will the captain drop all those batsmen below Sachin before dropping him?

  • StatisticsRocks on October 29, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    So now he is going to block a career of a young cricketer at the domestic level....How selfish can one get.....Will he be dropped from Indian test team if he scores a pair of ducks in this domestic game. I guess not.

  • on October 29, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    If Ranji start paying in 7 figure pay, these money making machine not ignore to play domestic cricket.it's just play for fun not for practice. what happen if they fail to impress they will not selected in Team India same as any junior player...

  • itsthewayuplay on October 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Unfortunately at their stage of their respective careers this is probably too little too late. The selectors and captain should be strong enough to drop any player for not performing whatever the reason and they then return to the domestic game to prove form and fitness and earn their place in the squad again. Hope it's is more than a token gesture in response to crticism.

  • paps1889 on October 29, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    The bowling attack of Railways is very very weak in comparison to the English bowling attack.. So, it is a useless practice match for Tendulkar. I think it is the time to look forward, Parvinder Awana, Ashok Dinda should given a chance instead of old zaheer.

  • Akshita29 on October 28, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    What if they fail poorly in the Ranji match (although not likely to happen)????

  • grizzle on October 28, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Good decision by Tendulkar and Zak to play in the Ranji Trophy. If only they could play a few more games before England arrive! It would be a boon both to them and the players in the Mumbai squad.

  • india26 on October 28, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    All the critics of Tendulkar , one thing is sure even you guys pray for Tendulkar success from some corner of ur heart. Challenge you cant deny this fact

  • ramarama on October 28, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Great achievement ! At last they have been selected to ply Ranji! It will be an insult to them.

  • on October 27, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    @Eliya Abbas Syed .........you r spot on .........getting bold is not right for any batsman no matter how great avg he is maintaining...............HENCE Tendulkar needs to work out his technical flaw by opting to play with open face of bat, foot pointing towards bowler (not covers/ point) and head upright rather than falling off side.

  • on October 27, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is the God of Cricket. He is the living legend. He proved his worth earlier too. The reason that Sachin's form is being highlighted so much is because is the one player everyone want to see play good, otherwise Sehwag, Gambhir and Dhoni have been in equally bad form. So let us just shut up and hope for the best because if Sachin comes back in form, we won't need much runs from other players of the Indian Cricket Team.

  • Min2_cric on October 27, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    railways will win the match as two grand fathers playin agnst them...

  • cricket-is-best on October 27, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Hope Rohit sharma continues his form in domestic cricket too.because there are several "much better" players waiting to break into the international scene and we don't want a useless,taken for granted talent rohit sharma.I think even ashwin is a much better and trustworthy batsman than rohit sharma.I think he has gud test batting credentials.Dont know why indian team management is not investing upon ashwin as a batsman.He might be wasted in 8th position.

  • SoverBerry2 on October 27, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    GOOD DECISION... This will help little master...

  • Porky_PigTheToon on October 27, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    No Wonder. Ind is the only country where we eat Cricket, Drink Cricket, Sleep Cricket, Talk Cricket, Walk Cricket ! lol

  • calcu on October 27, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @Cpt.meanster last year, when eng whitewashed india 4-0 and den eng went on ind tour , many people were saying dat eng will do another clean sweep and what happened?????????????? it went 5-0 in india's favour. Same will happen this time. WHY DO U FORGET DAT D TOUR IS HAPENNING IN INDIA?

  • bluebloodripper on October 27, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    Really hoping Ajinkya Rahane gets selected for this series instead of Sehwag. Its been a while since Viru has been coming out and just swinging at the ball in the hope that today would be his day. The time is right to move on and test out the youngsters by giving them a fair run...

  • A_Vacant_Slip on October 27, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster. Well then - let us see how this play out.....

  • rahulcricket007 on October 27, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    zaheer is looking little slim

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on October 27, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    @Chckydoll can you tell me why ponting is playing for tasmania against the ball boys?

  • SanjivAwesome on October 27, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    And if both don't perform, will then Sandeep Patil and his "selectors" drop them from playing Tests for India and give youth a chance?

  • SaurabhDutt on October 27, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Good thinking from Sachin and Zaheer.Getting some runs and wickets respectively under their belt is necessary before a high voltage season.All blamers should take a look at what Ponting is doing.Not playing much of limited over cricket,but finding form in Domestic first-class before crucial series vs Proteas.Also,India need both of them to deliver big on big stage.Its ok that there are young players like Virat who can deliver,but cricket (especially Test cricket) is a game of 11 players.Good luck Sachin and Zak.

  • aravind077 on October 27, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    mumbai will rock . hope sachin and rohit will came into form

  • sachinanddravid on October 27, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    nobody is having rihgts to talk bad about Sachin.He is the one who bring India to this stage.I am not intrested to see sachin in T20 but he is far better than Dhoni,Shewag,Gambhir,Rohit.you can find a replacement for Saurav,Laxman,Zaheer.But to replace Sachin and Dravid is not easy one for BCCI.and they are not intrested to find a young gun to replace both.Let him play test cricket as he thinks he has still some cricket left in him.for a lot of sachin fans it ll be a bad day when going to hear from Sachin that I am retired from international cricket.

  • roversgate on October 27, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Sachin looks like he is doing gangnam style here!

    Its a good idea for both of them to play Ranji trophy. Zaheer needs to prove match fitness and Sachin needs to decide in the England series itself if he intends to continue playing for another year or so. Also, Sachin should retire from ODIs. Unlike tests, ODIs is actually a very very settled team with the likes of Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane who have played well but still dont find a place in the team.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 27, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip: Not a double bluff friend, it's true I don't like test cricket. It's also true I don't sit and watch every single day and every single session LIVE. But I do catch highlights of it from time to time. Highlights are more like T20s you know. So yeah, I despise test cricket but I have never said anywhere that I never watch test cricket all together. Just because I don't favour one format of cricket doesn't mean I don't watch it. I don't like Italian pasta, but does that I mean I dislike all Italian food ?

  • A_Vacant_Slip on October 26, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (October 26 2012, 21:53 PM GMT) England fan know you of old. You are playing double bluff game. You don't even like Test cricket you say so here many time.

  • ChuckyDoll on October 26, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    What now... Sachin feeling like he wants to get 300+ score in 1.5 days ? To boost his confidence against school boys ? What a garbage plan for Sachin & Zaheer.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 26, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    We are the underdogs my fellow Indian fans. It's time we accept our short comings in the longest format of the game. We are not the favourites in this series. It's England who are favourites. They are the better team. We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. Our fans need to come to the reality and support this new look journeyman team. Don't have any high hopes of a massive series victory my dear Indian fans. Just accept whatever comes your way. England looking good.

  • on October 26, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Do SRT really require this hardwork of playing ranji's and then test matches at this age..Sir,there are players like ambati rayudu who only played ranji's (means practising for last one decade).please give them a chance to prove,they are also running out of the age..

  • on October 26, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    @nagrajbc I just cannot understand that why people are saying that only sachin is holding a youngster's place,there are also other guys except for Kholi no one has done well in Tests since the world cup 2011,why cant anyone of them be questioned for their form. Comparing someone in the caliber of sachin itself is a mistake,the man has done everything in cricket, people should think from the bottom of their heart that 90% of Indians started/watching cricket ONLY because of this man.Dravid/laxman/ganguly is not there in the team and it doesnt mean that Sachin is holding for records(cos he has nothing to prove to any1).Indians(Having Cricket Knowledge) should atleast shut up evn if they dont celebrate/appreciate his achievements.He is the most exp player in the world and he knows when to hang his boots,let him decide, lets pls sit and watch him play and let India win,Last thing Is there a PERFECT REPLACEMENT FOUND FOR THE LIKES OF GANGULY/LAXMAN?DRAVID to get one for SACHIN...

  • on October 26, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Mumbai to start as favorites! LOL

  • on October 26, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Good option for sachin...

  • on October 26, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    superlike for nagrajbc's comment

  • GerrardLK on October 26, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    So Grandfather Sachin & Zaheer asked to play club level cricket to improve standards to play Int'l level? That means BCCI has plans to play them for another 20 years. For the first time we're going to see a father & son playing together. You know what I mean.........

  • on October 26, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    SRT will take some batting practice but i doubt he is going to field more than 10-15 overs...

  • akbarbirbal007 on October 26, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Barring a few,It Looks like a Mumbai Indians team playing test cricket

  • on October 26, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Sachin photo looks like he is doing half ganganam style:O

  • on October 26, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    I really appreciate this gesture. However, this should have been done long ago.

  • akbarbirbal007 on October 26, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    I think this has got something to do with the new bunch of selectors at helm,otherwise such a 180 degree change in the attitude of players. Dhoni too should play ranji games more often than nought

  • akbarbirbal007 on October 26, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    Ya they should definitely play ranji, it will boost up the otherwise ordinary domestic tournament as well as do a world of good to there self-confidence and provide a much needed match practice,good form can elude anyone even the great sachin tendulkar..what i think is that he may retire from the shorter form of the game in near future as we don't see him playing the next WC and no one ever can break his record in ODIs..however sublime form Kohili may be it is obvious he wont continue in the same fashion as there are T20 nowadays..it will make sure that you don't be in a purple patch for long

  • akbarbirbal007 on October 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    I doubt zaheer can remain fit for the whole ranji maatch

  • naveennap1 on October 26, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    JUST LOOKS LIKE INDIA A TEAM......

  • nagrajbc on October 26, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    LOL...........hi all deserving youngsters don't waste your golden time...concentrate on other career options...you won't get an opportunity till next one decade.....as there is no end to so called GOD's career............

  • SoverBerry2 on October 26, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    News after the first day of the game: "Zaheer Khan down with hamstring"

  • Nampally on October 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    It is good idea forTendulkar play some domestic cricket. He looked like a shadow of himself in the CLT 20. If he really wants to continue playing Cricket, he has to play in as many matches as possible to remain in touch with the game. I think it will be the last season for both Tendulkar & Zaheer before they quit Test cricket. I have my doubts whether they are up to the Test standard even this season. The retirement is an individual choice. But it is best to retire before you are pushed out!. In the olden days even the great players like Mankad, Phadkar, Wadekar, Engineer, V.Manjrekar,Kundaram, Gupte, Sardesai & others all played regular cricket for Bombay in the Ranji. That is the only way to remain match fit. The present generation of Test players is grossly overpaid, unworthily,in IPL & TV endorsements. As a WK/batsman, I don't think Dhoni is half as good as Engineer or Kundaram.Yet he earns >$30 million/year compared to <$10,000 by the other 2. Sign of the time & gross unfairness!

  • bluebloodripper on October 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    FINALLYY!! some common sense prevails. Match practice and form is the most important criteria for selection. I think its great these 2 are making an effort to get back into the best possible before the series against England. Tendulkar isint looking like scoring any runs because he's been busy taking breaks and Zaheer doesn't look like he'll last 5 days, so yes..this was badly needed for both. I hope they are fit and and in form for the series.

  • sachin_vvsfan on October 26, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    He should have done the same before ENG series but just skipped WI series yet continues to play IPL games (sometimes even with injury). Loosing all respect

  • on October 26, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Are they looking to get injured here?

  • on October 26, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Zaheer needs to hit form quickly.. He is currently on the treshold of achieving 300 wkts in tests and if he can do that against England.. It'll be a great pyschological boost.. Zak was out of steam but the break should have done him a world of good.. Hoping to see the best of him this summer..

    IMO, Sachin needs to take a call on T20 and ODI's.. He can continue tests till 2014 but the same cant be said for ODI's and T20s.. Either he retires from both or continues in tests and high profile ODI's..

  • CricketMaan on October 26, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Shouldnt it read Zak and SRT to play thier last Ranji game, i cant see them playing again this season. I dont mind if Zak breaks down midway, though i have high regards for his trade, we need Ishant, Umesh and Ashok bowling umpteen overs in the next 8 tests ahead of toiling times in SA, Eng and Aus.

  • on October 26, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Expecting from Rohit too!

  • AbhiPahil on October 26, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    I doubt zaheer can remain fit for whole India-England series....but hoping for the best.

  • Farce-Follower on October 26, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Both - SRT & Zak - need to say good bye to Test Cricket and all cricket - NOWWWW!!! We need to form a team centred around the likes of Pujara, Kohli and Ashwin. These two guys are distractions that the team can do without. Plus their contributions are minimal.

  • NitinManchanda on October 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Hopefully, they'll remain fit for India-England series.

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  • NitinManchanda on October 26, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Hopefully, they'll remain fit for India-England series.

  • Farce-Follower on October 26, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Both - SRT & Zak - need to say good bye to Test Cricket and all cricket - NOWWWW!!! We need to form a team centred around the likes of Pujara, Kohli and Ashwin. These two guys are distractions that the team can do without. Plus their contributions are minimal.

  • AbhiPahil on October 26, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    I doubt zaheer can remain fit for whole India-England series....but hoping for the best.

  • on October 26, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Expecting from Rohit too!

  • CricketMaan on October 26, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    Shouldnt it read Zak and SRT to play thier last Ranji game, i cant see them playing again this season. I dont mind if Zak breaks down midway, though i have high regards for his trade, we need Ishant, Umesh and Ashok bowling umpteen overs in the next 8 tests ahead of toiling times in SA, Eng and Aus.

  • on October 26, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    Zaheer needs to hit form quickly.. He is currently on the treshold of achieving 300 wkts in tests and if he can do that against England.. It'll be a great pyschological boost.. Zak was out of steam but the break should have done him a world of good.. Hoping to see the best of him this summer..

    IMO, Sachin needs to take a call on T20 and ODI's.. He can continue tests till 2014 but the same cant be said for ODI's and T20s.. Either he retires from both or continues in tests and high profile ODI's..

  • on October 26, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Are they looking to get injured here?

  • sachin_vvsfan on October 26, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    He should have done the same before ENG series but just skipped WI series yet continues to play IPL games (sometimes even with injury). Loosing all respect

  • bluebloodripper on October 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    FINALLYY!! some common sense prevails. Match practice and form is the most important criteria for selection. I think its great these 2 are making an effort to get back into the best possible before the series against England. Tendulkar isint looking like scoring any runs because he's been busy taking breaks and Zaheer doesn't look like he'll last 5 days, so yes..this was badly needed for both. I hope they are fit and and in form for the series.

  • Nampally on October 26, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    It is good idea forTendulkar play some domestic cricket. He looked like a shadow of himself in the CLT 20. If he really wants to continue playing Cricket, he has to play in as many matches as possible to remain in touch with the game. I think it will be the last season for both Tendulkar & Zaheer before they quit Test cricket. I have my doubts whether they are up to the Test standard even this season. The retirement is an individual choice. But it is best to retire before you are pushed out!. In the olden days even the great players like Mankad, Phadkar, Wadekar, Engineer, V.Manjrekar,Kundaram, Gupte, Sardesai & others all played regular cricket for Bombay in the Ranji. That is the only way to remain match fit. The present generation of Test players is grossly overpaid, unworthily,in IPL & TV endorsements. As a WK/batsman, I don't think Dhoni is half as good as Engineer or Kundaram.Yet he earns >$30 million/year compared to <$10,000 by the other 2. Sign of the time & gross unfairness!