It’s official! Sachin Tendulkar will pad up for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal tie starting on Sunday. The Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) senior selection committee, headed by Sandeep Patil, named the batting maestro in the 15-member squad that will take on Baroda at the Wankhede Stadium.
DNA had reported the sequence of events starting from the MCA approaching Tendulkar for the last group stage match against Gujarat to the 39-year-old making himself available for the knockouts.
The five-day encounter will be Tendulkar’s first outing since the Test series against England. The 39-time champions will, however, miss the services of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan who is down with a calf injury. Mumbai will be led by regular skipper Ajit Agarkar, declared fit for the crunch tie.
MCA joint-secretary Nitin Dalal also informed that he would request Patil, who is also the BCCI’s chief selector, to release Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane for the knockout game. Makes sense, doesn’t it? In any case, both are warming the bench for the national team. And they don’t stand to gain anything by playing the third and final ODI against Pakistan — a dead rubber — in New Delhi on Sunday.
Squad: Ajit Agarkar (C), Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Jaffer, Suryakumar Yadav, Dhaval Kulkarni, Kaustubh Pawar, Abhishek Nayar, Hiken Shah, Aditya Tare, Ankeet Chavan, Nikhil Patil Jr, Javed Khan, Shoaib Shaikh, Shardul Thakur, Vishal Dabholkar
Coach: Sulakshan Kulkarni