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Ajinkya Rahane declared unfit for Super League stage of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Ajinkya Rahane plays one uppishly on the off side Getty Images

Mumbai's preparations for the Super League phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy have suffered a jolt with their captain Ajinkya Rahane declared unfit.

Ajit Agarkar, Mumbai's chairman of selectors, said Rahane had "pushed through" the group stage but he needed rest to recover.

In the league stage, Mumbai topped the Group C table, winning five out of six matches, but Rahane made just 58 runs at an average of 9.67. Agarkar felt Rahane's experience would have been the key during the Super League stage.

"He was carrying niggles even during the league phase, which he kind of pushed through when we were in a bit of trouble. But he would not be 100% (for Super League)," Agarkar said.

Suresh Raina is set to be another notable absentee from the Super League phase of the tournament. The Uttar Pradesh batsman wasn't at his best before being ruled out, aggregating 80 runs in six matches, with just one fifty and four single digit scores.

Closely watching Rahane and Raina's recovery will be their IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, where Rahane is the captain and Raina the most prolific run-getter. The IPL will start on March 23 with the Super Kings taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore. Royals will start their campaign in Jaipur against Kings XI Punjab on March 25.