Ranji Trophy 2013-14 December 11, 2013

Jaffer to lead Mumbai in place of injured Nayar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Abhishek Nayar, the Mumbai allrounder, will miss the upcoming Ranji game against Odisha after suffering ankle and hip injuries. In his absence, Wasim Jaffer will lead the side.

The Mumbai selection panel led by Deepak Jadhav had met on Tuesday and originally asked wicketkeeper Aditya Tare to lead the team. Tare was Nayar's deputy in Mumbai's last match, against Jharkhand, but it is understood that he told the selectors he was keen to focus on his game and was not yet ready to take on leadership duties. The selectors then turned to Jaffer, the seneior most player in the squad.

Earlier this month, Nayar was named Mumbai captain in place of Zaheer Khan, who was picked for the Test squad against South Africa. Nayar led the side in the game against Jharkhand earlier this week, during which he picked up his injury. He was the leading run-scorer for Mumbai in 2012-13 - when the team won the Ranji Trophy title for the 40th time - but has struggled for form this year, scoring 200 runs in five games at an average of 22.22 and has taken eight wickets.

Nayar's injury isn't the only concern for Mumbai. Pacer Akbar Khan, who made his debut this season against Vidarbha, has also been ruled out for the Odisha game after fracturing his hand in the match against Jharkhand.

Opener Kaustubh Pawar, who was dropped after a poor run of scores early in the season, has been recalled and Balwinder Singh Jr will replace Akbar Khan. Pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, who injured his toe earlier in the season, will be out of action for another two weeks.

Mumbai, however, are topping Group A with 20 points after six rounds.

Mumbai squad against Odisha: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Aditya Tare (wk), Kaustubh Pawar, Hiken Shah, Suryakumar Yadav, Balwinder Singh Sandhu (jr), Vishal Dabholkar, Siddhesh Lad, Javed Khan, Shardul Thakur, Kshemal Waingankar, Manish Rao, Pravin Tambe, Sagar Kerkar.

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