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December 29, 2009
Sachin Tendulkar will not play in the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Delhi to be played in Mumbai.
Tendulkar had opted out of the Indian team for next month's tri-series in Bangladesh. His place in the national side was taken by Rohit Sharma, fuelling speculation that Tendulkar would replace him in the Mumbai squad for the Ranji fixture starting on Sunday. However, Mumbai coach Pravin Amre reasoned that since Tendulkar had taken a break for rest, there was no chance of his playing in the domestic match.
"He has opted out of the Bangladesh tri-series to take rest and is not available for the semi-finals. The team is going to be picked tomorrow," Amre told PTI.
The absence of Tendulkar, Rohit and Zaheer Khan will leave Mumbai short on experience, similar to the Delhi squad that will miss the services of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ashish Nehra. However, Ishant Sharma's return to the side will be a shot in the arm for the visitors.
"Both the teams are missing some players but have the momentum going into the game," Amre said.
Allrounder Abhishek Nayar has been included in Mumbai's squad for the semi-final clash - the lone change in the defending champions' lineup that got past Haryana in the quarterfinal after picking up first-innings points.
Squad: Wasim Jaffer (capt), Ajit Agarkar, Praful Waghela, Sahil Kukreja, Ajinkya Rahane, Prashant Naik, Sushant Marathe, Ramesh Powar, Vinayak Samant (wk), Usman Malvi, Dhaval Kulkarni, Onkar Khanvilkar, Abhsishek Nayar, Avishkar Salvi and Iqbal Abdulla
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